After a vigorous selection process, in which an esteemed selection committee cast their votes for the 12 ANNA Award 2023 finalists, the jury is out. Nada Baraka, an Egyptian artist based in Cairo, is the 2023 ANNA Award recipient.
Baraka makes paintings that maintain an endless, active state of flux, swaying between abstract and surreal with her evocative application and vivid use of colours. Baraka seeks to generate forms in new contexts as a means to challenge and deconstruct the obvious, and tease meaning out of absurdity.
“This award validated a lot of my own struggles and hard work, and quelled my doubts. My mind can’t grasp that I actually won.”Nada Baraka
Fluctuations of emotions triggered by various experiences build up to a narrative that eludes interpretation. The core of her work is this process that seeks to narrate an experience through expressionist brushwork and surrealist methodology. A central aspect in those narratives is the concept of eruption, appearing as distorted forms, body parts, colours or layers, all bathed in a fluidity that is punctuated with striking detail.
“As a female who believes in women empowerment and who struggles daily in a country that has one of the highest rates of harassment, it is important to keep pushing and to pursue my practice loudly and proudly. To have a voice that will continue to evolve. This will happen by experimenting more frequently, trying new mediums and exploring new topics as well.”Nada Baraka
Second place goes to Alexandra-Naledi Holtman whose work seeks to create a space of intimate sonic transferral based on parabolic receivers and cup phones. Inspired by shapes and objects that both absorb and echo sound, the work invites the audience to participate in a conversation across a space bridged by string and sound, where the information exchanged exists only between the two bodies in connection.
Taking third place is Cazlynne Peffer for her exhibition of works Muffled Violations (2022). The body of work offers a poetic account of the trauma felt from her memories of rape; memories that are intimately embedded into the fabric of found objects.
The 2023 ANNA Audience Award
Every year the public is invited to vote for their favourite finalist. This year the ANNA Audience Award winner is Buqaqawuli Nobakada, an emerging contemporary mixed media artist born in the Western Cape and raised between Phililipi and a remote village in Lady Frere, Eastern Cape. Nobakada’s primary medium is acrylic paint on laced paper, often used with custom clay or gold jewellery.
For more information about the 2023 ANNA Awards, visit the Latitudes website.