Writing Art History Since 2002

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Winning the Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award in 2019 has significantly elevated Nyokong’s career, increasing his relevance, visibility, and recognition among his peers.

Phoka Nyokong. Courtesy of Absa.

Phoka Nyokong is a versatile artist, curator, writer, and researcher whose transdisciplinary practice encompasses various mediums, including performance, sound/video and installation, photography, storytelling, curating, writing, drawing, and painting. His impressive exhibition history includes public and private institutions like the Aardklop Arts Festival, Pretoria Art Museum, and the North-West University Art Gallery. Nyokong holds an honours degree in Curatorship and is pursuing an MA in Live Art, Interdisciplinary, and Public Art. Winning the Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award in 2019 has significantly elevated Nyokong’s career, increasing his relevance, visibility, and recognition among his peers. The opportunities and support offered by the competition have further inspired his growth and development as an artist. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the experience as an Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award winner has been incredibly rewarding, with the generous support from Absa.

How did being a winner in the Absa L’Atelier competition impact your career as an artist?

Winning the prize, as you can imagine, has brought a significant degree of relevance and visibility for myself and my work. It means one joins a long line of distinguished artists in a saturated professional arena. 

What advice would you give to new artists considering entering the Absa L’Atelier competition?

Immerse yourself in doing work, and enjoy the process while at it. The honesty and integrity n the work should pull you through. 

How did the prizes and opportunities the competition offered help you grow and develop as an artist?

As I said, the prize has come with myriad incentives, inspiring me to keep working and growing and, indeed, the recognition for my practice. 

What was your experience as an Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award winner?

It has been nothing short of amazing. The generous support from Absa throughout has humbled me in a significant way. Not being able to attend the residency in Paris due to COVID-19 and then being afforded a chance for residency at the Nirox Sculpture Park was a lifetime opportunity I wouldn’t exchange for anything. And for that, I’ll be forever grateful.

For more information, please visit the Absa L’Atelier and the Absa Art Hot Spot.

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