ANNA and Latitudes, two female-centric South African brands, have joined forces to create an exciting new art award. The aim of the award is to discover, recognise and nurture a new generation of women artists in South Africa. For both ANNA and Latitudes, it is crucial that the ANNA Award is as inclusive as possible. As such, no formal art training is required in order to apply, there are no age restrictions for applicants, and the competition is open to women artists working in any medium.
"In a patriarchal world, having such an important award to give women the opportunity to take up space and being celebrated for that is so fundamental. Period!" - Candice Chirwa
"The most powerful and appealing aspect of the ANNA Award is its inclusivity. No age restriction, no formal training, no limits other than pure creativity." - Marianne Fassler
Vote for the audience award and stand a chance to win!
Vote for your favourite of the 12 finalists and you could win a R3000 Latitudes gift voucher and a year's supply of ANNA products. What's more, the winner of the Audience Award will receive a complimentary profile on Latitudes, a Latitudes viewing room and a year's supply of ANNA products.
Your beautifully worded open call to all creative people inspired me to submit my recent work. The sheer perseverance I embody as an older person working in a different medium could be a reason to be considered for this incredible opportunity."
"My work employs ink and stamps as a vital, organic, multifaceted material. For me, ink and stamps are mediums that stain and certify with their contact on any surface, these materials are those that never leave a surface the same after being in contact with it. The stamp and ink is always used to verify and ordain documents of importance which grants the holder automatic approval to the decision of others, this process is always handled by an individual of authority.
The teachings from parent to female child is embedded in and never leaves her the same, She is impressionable, with the ideas that whatsoever has been stamped and inked upon her is approved. The medium tempers heavier subjects that deal with the expectations on women. Investigating the medium allows me to overcome daily conundrums and escape the victim mentality."
"I am a self-taught artist based in Johannesburg. My work interrogates the relationship women have with their surroundings, with themselves and how they navigate hostile external structures of patriarchy and limiting belief systems. In my work, women’s bodies are offered as a terrain of contestation - as landscapes upon which these hostile surroundings and contexts are re-purposed and re-imagined.I am interested in how the effects of patriarchy and the overarching superstructures shape and form the outlook of women, both in their physicality and in ways unseen. Weaving their significance on women’s experiences, expressions of autonomy, narratives and imagination. The work I undertake not only aims to understand these landscapes but also to hopefully unearth them - with the aim and hope of unveiling what tries to remain unseen."
"My creativity comes from a personal place yet is relatable to a number of other women. I am creating work that urges society to take an in-depth look at the challenges some mothers have come to face since having their children, work that creates conversations that would normally be seen as taboo.
Muvhili a si Tsimbi is an ongoing body of work that explores the theme of motherhood - the mental and physical changes as well as the challenges some mothers experience during pregnancy and after childbirth.I address the traumas of childbirth, the loss of sense of self, the panic, and the anxiety."
"As a socially-engaged artist who works to connect people from seemingly disparate worlds, I see the value of art as a tool for finding common ground and building empathy. Crucial to building empathy is giving a platform to take up space and be seen and recognised. This is what my filmic work and conversational work attempts to do. My positionality allows me to work from a place of mutual understanding with many of the people I get to collaborate with. I am genuinely invested in paying forward the mentorship and care that I have been so lucky to encounter whilst finding my home in what can be a very daunting industry for women-of-colour."
"Gugulethu Mnguni was born in Soweto, Johannesburg South Africa. Mnguni matriculated in 2018 at Lux College where she took art. She is currently completing her third year at Artist Proof Studio. In 2020, she exhibited her work in Vancouver as part of a group exhibition on Climate Change. Recently, Mnguni has joined the Art in Action (AiA) Online Exhibition. She aims to finish her 3rd year at APS and become a practising international African female artist."
"The paradox I address in my work is one I believe a multitude of black women like myself can relate to and as such I believe that being a recipient of this award would set the stage for this dialog, for the process of unlearning, toward self discovery and healing."
"A printmaker and painter, Mbali Tshabalala straddles mediums and objectives. Attuned to the appeal of stylised black iconography, she is also alert to the fact that art – as a representational system – cannot wholly grasp the rich complexity of Black Life – namely its spiritual dimension, familial culture of interdependency, embodied in the culture of Ubuntu, and the rights of women therein. To dub Tshabalala a feminist is to simplify the issue. For her, black womanhood is both hammer and anvil, an inspirational weapon and an archetypal trope. This explains her ability to move between the iconic and the real, the ideal and the mortal realms." - Ashraf Jamal
"My work is merely an earnest attempt towards a romantic matrilineal family archive that maps the lines of intimacy, violence and points of solidarity in the experiences of love for black women. I find that love is a universal experience. I simply want to participate in centering the narratives of black romance as a universal experience, and to investigate the contours of the romantic experiences of black women. With that said, I think that my practice demonstrates high levels of independence and ambition, where I work with a confidence and curiosity across disciplines to produce work that is urgent, decolonial and relevant to the sociological enquiries of love.Along with the institutional support of Latitudes, I think that the award would stretch the lungs of my work so that it can ask the question more loudly: What does a feminist and decolonial love look like for black women like ourselves?"
"I am a young woman emerging in the art industry. I enjoy painting, printmaking and exploring fashion within the creative space. As an emerging artist I’ve experienced the hardship of creating work consistently without funding as well as sharing the same view about the shortage of female artist in the industry. I took the opportunity to apply for the ANNA Award in the hopes of giving my work exposure and further working toward the position of becoming a successful young female artist in the industry.
I am consistent in creative work, I would very much appreciate being given the opportunity of showing my work on an international scale. I would also like to give gratitude for giving me and all the other female artists an opportunity of this magnitude."
When I was born I was given the name Soliana which means "The Light of God". Yet as life has gone on I've gone by many names and have been through many careers, yet, the title I prefer is Story Teller. To me, this means a relater of anecdotes, a reciter of tales, a visual writer of stories
Through my travels in Eritrea. I arrived in Massawa, one of the hottest cities in the world, and the warm wind deeply kissed my lungs until I begged for cold water. In the above photograph, the water connects directly to the Nile river and the Red Sea - in the most beautiful shade of blue."
"I've lived around the country and picked up inspiration from all the different cultures I've been surrounded by. This is why I use so much colour and variety in my work as I want to represent what it means to be young, black and female in Africa right now. I would love to use some of the prize money to create a large scale mural together with young girls in my hometown village Mbizana, Eastern Cape. Growing up there, I've always seen a lack of art or access to art and I think experiencing creativity should not be determined by your social economic background. One of my dreams is to have an after school art programme in Mbizana to show not only the young girls and boys but the whole community that creativity and art can help make the world a better place."
"The ANNA Award contributes strongly to diversifying the art canon as it holds an incredible opportunity for female-identifying voices to be heard and praised. This co-lead award honours all creative forces of mother nature and, at its essence, what it means to be a woman." - Nina Carew
R100,000 cash prize from ANNA, a month residency at PLAAS #inplaasvan in Franschhoek, South Africa, a profile on Latitudes Online, and a year’s supply of ANNA products. Their winning artwork will be included in the ANNA Awards Collection.
Twelve finalists will be presented to the Latitudes audience, who will be invited to vote for an Audience Award winner. This artist will receive a profile on Latitudes Online and a year’s supply of ANNA products.
"These awards would be so very necessary at any point in the local art landscape. But now we are going into our third year of a global pandemic that has squeezed and tested artists in unimaginable ways. The ANNA Award is timely and exciting, well done to the Latitudes team for making this happen." - Refiloe Mpakanyane
"It will elevate the strong presence of women in art and endeavour to enhance their value and representation in the art eco-system, be it galleries, museums, art fairs, auction houses, biennales. It is still a long way to reach parity, but every effort should be celebrated, and the Latitudes X ANNA Award is welcome contribution towards that journey." - Makgati Molebatsi
Candice Chirwa is an academic, author, TEDx speaker, podcaster, and social entrepreneur. Also known as the ‘Minister of Menstruation’, she is a thought leader with an avid interest in gender and youth issues in South Africa. Candice is also an author of two books, “Perils of Patriarchy” which sheds and unpacks women’s lived experiences in South Africa, and “Flow: The Book About Menstruation”. Candice has a TEDx Talk called Bad Blood focused on the stigmas surrounding Periods. Candice is doing her PhD studies in Menstrual Health Management. Candice currently serves as a Trustee Member for WWF Nedbank Green Trust.
Makgati Molebatsi: in pursuing her passion for visual art, Makgati retired from a thirty-year career in Marketing and Communications to study Art & Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London in 2016. Makgati founded the art consultancy, Mak’Dct Art Advisory & Agency to provide guidance to private collectors, corporates, and early career artists in navigating the contemporary art world. In 2019, she was part of the team which cofounded Latitudes Art Fair in Johannesburg. She has served on the board of The Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, and the selection committee for the David Koloane Award, the Cassirer/Welz Award and the Sasol New Signatures Award 2019 and 2021. Makgati currently sits on the board of Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) and has participated in their mentorship programme to the Ithuba Art Fund, a CSI initiative for emerging artists by the Citiq Group. Makgati holds a BA(SS) Degree from The University of the North. She currently is Senior Art Specialist with Aspire Art Auctions.
Refiloe Mpakanyane is a seasoned radio and tv anchor who loves nothing more than researching and conducting a good interview. She is the host of Weekend Breakfast with Refiloe Mpakanyane on 702; is an experienced voice-over artist and her penchant for the arts and technology is underpinned by her entrepreneurial work in on demand audio and content. Her clients as a facilitator and media trainer include the African Union Foundation and the Acturial Society of South Africa. Refiloe’s literacy advocacy work has seen her collaborating with the South African Book Development Council (and other literacy stakeholders) for many years to bring reading and books closer to South African children.
Nina Carew is part of the curatorial team at Latitudes and heads the first iteration of the ANNA Award. She holds a Masters Degree in Curatorial Studies and has recently run Latitudes’ two educational programmes, CuratorLab and ArtistLab. With years spent in art hubs and educational institutions, Nina brings a well-rounded arts perspective to the selection committee. She is passionate about emerging voices and giving a space for untapped talent to thrive. Fostering spaces of inclusion and creative freedom - with a personal touch - is at the core of her practice and personal philosophy.
Jo-Ann Strauss: both in South Africa and worldwide, Jo-Ann Strauss is renowned for her ability to seamlessly integrate her witty charm and take audiences on an insightful and entertaining journey throughout the proceedings she hosts.
She has been the brand ambassador of Lufthansa, Samsung and BMW in South Africa and also sits on the boards of Media24 (one of Africa’s biggest media companies), M&C Saatchi Abel (award-winning advertising agency), Village and Life (a property and tourism company) as well as the advisory board of one of Africa’s top business schools, the University of Stellenbosch Business School. She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has designed a clothing range which raised funds to feed over 8000 families. She has MC’ed conferences for bespoke brands on 4 continents and traveled extensively as a television host and producer.
She is passionate about entrepreneurship and creating an environment in her home country which helps people grow their own businesses.
Marianne Fassler has spent over three decades in the fashion business. She operates from Leopard Frock, her creative workshop in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. She sells garments and separates off the peg and also consults with individual clients by appointment. Leopard Frock is a very relaxed environment where everybody is made to feel at home. Marianne and her team are always on hand to lend advice or to suggest alternatives.
Her work is always superbly crafted, interesting and comfortable. She appeals to a wide spectrum of women who love individuality, identity, craftsmanship and diversity in their wardrobe.
"I think the ANNA award is important for so many reasons. Art is a way of speaking one’s truth and so many have been denied that throughout the years. I have always done my best to be an advocate for change and serving on a selection panel of individuals who change the lives of talented artists would be a huge honour." - Jo-Ann Strauss
For Juanita Kotzé, Creative Director of ANNA - Pure Organic Pads and Liners - South Africa’s first locally produced, environmentally friendly sanitary range, the launch of this award is the next step in ANNA’s mission to embolden and empower women. “ANNA is about liberation, belonging, sustainability and truth, and I can’t think of a better way to share and express this ethos than through the creation and celebration of art.”
Lucy MacGarry, co-founder of Latitudes, explains that the ANNA Award celebrates women artists who show extraordinary originality, imagination and dedication in their creative careers. "The ANNA Award is designed to give space and a voice to women’s stories through the medium of visual art, and we're looking forward to the award becoming an important annual event in the world of contemporary art on the continent,” she adds.
Latitudes is an online destination to explore and buy contemporary art from Africa. With a constantly changing, curated selection of art from the continent and the diaspora, the site brings together artworks presented by galleries, curators, studios, not-for-profit organisations and independent artists themselves.
The first platform of this kind dedicated to art from Africa, Latitudes is designed to help collectors discover creativity from the continent in a non-intimidating and accessible way. With over 1000 artists represented on the site, Latitudes is well on its way to becoming the largest online destination for art from Africa.
Passionate as the organisation is about identifying and nurturing new talent, Latitudes introduced an Education programme in 2021, through which it has mentored and directly benefited over 80 creatives in South Africa. Latitudes Education is set to expand into the continent in 2022.
ANNA, South Africa’s first locally manufactured, environmentally friendly and organic menstrual product range is taking the lead in creating environmentally friendly sanitary products. The ANNA team believes that women who are conscious of their ecological footprint shouldn't have to compromise comfort in the process of lowering their environmental impact.
By providing environmentally conscious women with a real alternative to traditional plastic sanitary products, ANNA is empowering women to take ownership of, not only their own physical wellbeing, but the wellbeing of the environment, too.
As a cohesive, global consciousness about the environmental impact of disposable, single-use plastic products are becoming more evident, plastic-free products, such as the ANNA pure organic product range, are starting to take the frontline on the shelves of responsible retailers. The range currently consists of two ground-breaking organic products, ANNA Maxi Pads and ANNA Liners.
Find ANNA Pure Organic Pads and Liners at the following stockists:
Ackermans. Checkers, DisChem, Faithful to Nature, Natural Options, Pick ‘n Pay, and selected Spars.
Further Reading In Articles
African Artist Directory