Adelheid Frackiewicz

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Adelheid Frackiewicz, Lecturer and Head of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of the Free State, is the recipient of the prestigious Absa L’Atelier award (Group A). She now takes on the title of Absa L’Atelier Ambassador 2021. Part of the prize is the opportunity of having a collaborative exhibition at the end of 2022, as well as a solo exhibition within the next five years at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg. These exhibitions will also travel nationally and internationally. The criteria for selecting the Ambassador included technical execution, i.e. the artist’s expert handling of material and techniques; conceptual and thematic engagement, i.e. how they revealed an honest and intellectual reasoning or rationale; freshness of artistic vision within the context of the contemporary African art landscape, i.e. how the artist engaged with honest and fresh ways of seeing; as well as aesthetic appeal, which implies that the artist must have shown great consideration for visual quality and conceptual concerns, and whether the portfolio of artworks was a cohesive submission carrying the intended message or thematic idea. Frackiewicz is a lecturer, primarily in drawing and sculpture, and her research focuses on the transformative potential of dynamic threshold places, such as roadside shrines in South Africa. For her, making sculpture and installation art involves processes that allow her to constructively engage personal anxieties around death and loss.