Amina Agueznay Wins the Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2024 Grand Prize

A jury of five global art experts selected the Moroccan multimedia artist as the winner among 27 finalists from Africa and the global diaspora.

(left) Portrait of Amina Ageuznay. © Hazem Treasure; (right) Amina Agueznay, Portal #1, 2023. Wool, cotton. Courtesy of the artist.

(left) Portrait of Amina Ageuznay. © Hazem Treasure; (right) Amina Agueznay, Portal #1, 2023. Wool, cotton. Courtesy of the artist.

Norval Foundation and The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) have announced the latest winner for the 2024 iteration of the Norval Sovereign African Art Prize: Amina Ageuznay.

Agueznay’s work, Portal #1, was selected out of 27 shortlisted finalists, and hundreds of entries, by a panel of 5 global art experts. “A great final decision has been made. After hours of deep reflection the jury stayed true to the greater goal of the prize – the choice of an artist with an enduring vision of the lives and triumphs of woman of the African desert. The continent is massive and complex, the drives exhiliratingly diverse, as it should be on a continent that will gift the earth a ‘human face’. These words, by Steve Bantu Biko, express Africa’s greater purpose, and the role of our artist’s in fulfilling this noble vision.”, so the judge’s statement.

The NSAAP jury consists of Ashraf Jamal – Writer and Researcher, ArtBankSA and University of Johannesburg; Heba El Kayal, Chief Curatorial Consultant, Norval Foundation; Marie-Ann Yemsi, independent exhibition curator and contemporary art consultant; Ngaire Blankenberg – Founder and Director, Institute for Creative Repair; and Sean O’Toole, writer, editor and curator.

Agueznay’s work, and the work of the other finalists, is open to view at Norval Foundation until 12 May 2024.

Amina Agueznay is a versatile multimedia artist that possesses a variety of different specialisations including: architecture, design, fashion, jewellery and artisanal weaving. Upon finishing her education in Casablanca, Agueznay went on to study architecture in Washington DC. Despite her educational background Agueznay trained as a jewellery designer thus, diversifying her artistic expertise and interests. Once returning to Morocco Agueznay began collaborating with various government agencies in support of traditional artisans seeking to innovate and commercialise their products. Her experience working with these organisations became a constant source of inspiration, particularly in regard to her jewellery designs. “Curiosity, sharing and transmission” are at the heart of Agueznay’s projects and allows her to build strong bonds with individuals of exception skill. One of Agueznay’s most notable early shows was exhibited at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris in 1999. Thereafter, she continued to have her work displayed in renowned gallerys and art fairs across the world such as 1-54. In 2010, Agueznay was awarded the prestigious Mediterranean Fashion Prize. Agueznay’s work was also showcased at two separate exhibitions at MACAAL (Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden), Marrakech, in 2019.

The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize aims to benefit contemporary artists working in Africa or of the African diaspora by increasing their international exposure. A collaboration between The Sovereign Art Foundation and Norval Foundation, the Prize will celebrate the practice of some of the most significant contemporary artists working today.

The Grand Prize is a cash award of R500 000 South African Rand and the opportunity for a solo exhibition at Norval Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa.



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