Barclays gives emerging Ghanaian artists a lifetime opportunity through the Absa L’Atelier competition

Counting some of Ghana’s most prolific artistic talent among its past entrants, Barclays Bank Ghana’s parent company, Absa Group, has announced the opening of entries for the Absa L’Atelier art competition.

Ultimately, three finalists will receive international artistic residencies at France’s Cité Internationale des Arts and in South Africa as part of their prize.

Designed to identify and nurture the rich artistic talent across Africa, Absa L’Atelier intends to give the next generation of African artists the grounding and skills needed to bring their possibilities to life and build sustainable careers in the arts. The competition’s new look – which is in-line with Absa Group’s new visual identity – is a taste of what is to come for Barclays Bank Ghana, which is on its own journey to change its name and look to the Absa brand.

The competition is open to entrants from the 12 African countries in which the Absa Group operates: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Ghana’s track record in the Absa L’Atelier competition is strong, with Ghanaian artists appearing in the list of top 10 finalists for the past two years. Henry Obeng’s Recycle Frame 2, was part of the three Merit Awards winners and Sedinam Tsegah appeared in the top 10 list last year. Local satirical artist Bright Ackwerh and Priscilla Kennedy, were top 10 finalists in 2017, while Isaac Addico was also recognised in the 2016 Absa L’Atelier exhibition.

“Ghana has an interesting painting tradition, although many artists work in other mediums too. We have a developing industry with great talents who demonstrate real potential.

We sincerely hope that Absa L’Atelier can play a role in fostering emerging Ghanaian artists and support the growth of the industry,” said Nana Essilfuah Boison, Marketing & Corporate Relations Director of Barclays Bank Ghana.

“We believe in nurturing the incredible talent seen across the continent and in working to ensure that priceless skills and knowledge are harnessed between like-minded artists in a way that helps budding artists build prosperous long-term careers in the art world” she further added.

Entering its 34th year, Absa L’Atelier has built a strong legacy as a platform that allows the dynamic, inspiring and young visual artists of our continent to shine. It has gained prominence as one of the few platforms for visual artists to gain exposure locally and internationally.