9 November 2017

Seychelles: 8 Global Artists, 11 Seychellois to Participate in Biennale of Contemporary Arts

Photo: Patrick Joubert/Seychelles News Agency)
The works will include installations, sculptures, paintings, photography as well as videos.

Eight international artists will join 11 Seychellois to participate in the Seychelles' Biennale of Contemporary Arts, which will be launched later this month.

The commissioner of the Biennale, Nigel Henri, said on Monday that all foreign artists are arriving on the island nation by November 10.

"The artists from Mauritius, La Reunion, Zambia and Canada, along with their Seychellois counterparts will then have five days to mount their displays and exhibits."

Henry said that the works will include installations, sculptures, paintings, photography as well as videos. "Members of the jury - five in total, two locals and three foreigners - will as from the 15th go around to decide the winners."

Henri said the official launching of this event will be held on Sunday, November 19 with the winners being announced on the 25th at a red carpet event at the International Conference Centre in Victoria.

The participants are competing for three awards - the Biennale of Contemporary Arts which is $5542 (SCR 75,000); the prominent artist award which is $1848 (SCR 25,000) for Seychellois artists only; and the innovative artist award which is also $1848 (SCR 25,000).

The Seychelles' Biennale of Contemporary Art was re-launched in June this year, after not being organised for the last 15 years. The event will allow Seychellois artists to work and compete in a friendly atmosphere with their counterparts from other countries.

Henri said the Biennale is a key platform for artistic exchange and cultural collaboration, and will also help contribute to the diversity and vitality of art in Seychelles - a group of islands in the western Indian Ocean.

"The exhibits and displays will be mounted at different locations in Victoria. We will have installations all around the National Cultural Centre, we will have displays in the art garden of the National Arts Council as well as at the Peace Park," said the commissioner.

The artworks will be set up as an exhibition in the Carrefour des Arts. Henri said that along with the participants of the Biennale, there will also be guest artists who will be having exhibitions as side events.

"They are not competitors but as we are using the event to promote and foster arts development as well as to engage members of the Seychellois public in art appreciation and development, this is the ideal opportunity for them to showcase themselves and their work," said Henri.

The theme of the Biennale is "In A World of Crisis What Does Art Do?" where participants are expected to interpret how they see crisis happening all over in the world.

German artist and painter Dagmar Schmidt is the curator of the event. Schmidt has been on the islands several times visiting different venues for the event as well as interacting with the local artists.

"I am impressed with the participation of the Seychellois both in terms of quality and quantity. I visited their studios and heard their different concepts. Overall Seychelles has a very good selection, they are very competent as well and will do well against the international participants."

The Biennale of Contemporary Arts will open as an exhibition for the public until the end of January 2018.

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