L’Atelier is organized by Barclays Africa and South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA) and is now in its 32nd year.
Maral Bolouri was born in 1982, has a BA and MA in contemporary art design Practice and she was in the 2015 L’Atelier Top 100 finalist. Maral won the overall award for her installation Mothers and Others, a multi-sensory, interactive installation that investigates representations of women in African oral traditions. .
The installation explores the power of proverbs by juxtaposing negative and positive depictions of women in cultural truisms. In a home made cowbell, representing the objectification of women that are bearing examples of negative proverbs hang from a giant stool. Underneath it is a small altar holding a few positive proverbs about women related to motherhood and is surrounded by extinguished candles. Lastly a blank board that invites people to contribute their own proverbs.
Maral got a Six month residency at the Cite Internationale des arts, Paris: This includes return fare, R225 000 cash for the residency and a solo exhibition at the Absa Gallery. Members of the public can view the Top 100 best artworks from the 2017 L’Atelier at the official L’Atelier exhibition, running from 14 September 2017 to 27 October 2017 at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa.