25 October 2017

Seychelles: New Art Book Author to President - Artists in Seychelles Produce High-Quality Work

Martin Kennedy, the author of 'Art in Seychelles - Then and Now', made this statement after he presented the coffee-table book to Seychelles' President Danny Faure at State House on Friday.

The first part of the book showcases the history and development of art in Seychelles and the second part focuses on individual artists of today -- both popular and emerging.

"It has been several years since artists have been saying that there is a necessity to have such a book that will valorise the work they do and trace the history of art in Seychelles. Arterial Network has decided to make this happen," said Georges Camille, chair of the Network.

Arterial Network is a non-governmental organisation that supports and develops art in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.

"Our aim was always to create an archival document, something which is a snapshot of how things are now [as the artistic landscape] will change very quickly," said Kennedy.

He informed the press that while Faure was browsing through the book, the president said that he will be giving the book to foreign dignitaries with pride when he goes on overseas missions.

"I think that he was particularly enthusiastic about the fact that this book will be given free to school, colleges, and universities," said Kennedy.

Of the 2,000 prints made, 100 copies will be given to educational institutions and libraries.

"Seychelles lacks a museum that showcases paintings as well as a lack of books about art in the island nation. It is important that the youth have access to such information and documents, which might influence them to become artists," said Camille.

To gather materials for the book, Kennedy spent time with each artist, visited their studio and spoke to them about their work. The second part of the book is a mixture of quotes directly from the artists and some critical comments by the author.

"We hope that in future there will be many more editions that will continue to describe the cultural landscape here in Seychelles. I think that people who see the book will be surprised and delighted by the range and diversity of the work and also the quality," said Kennedy.

He explained that future editions will be updated with work of new artists while old works will be removed.

Other copies of the book are not yet available on the local market. Once they arrive, they will be available for purchase in several outlets including the Arterial Network gallery on Eden Island. Discussions are still ongoing with five-star hotels, local bookshops and duty-free at the Seychelles' International Airport.

The book will cost $76, which the author describes as "competitively priced and it reflects the quality and value of the book."

Money raised will be used to produce future editions of the work and as funding for the Arterial Network's activities.

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