Seychelles: 2 Seychellois Artists Showcasing Works At Show in Venice, Italy

Two Seychellois artists are showcasing works that navigate through the digital world and the ordinary struggles of local youngsters at the International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy.

The works of George Camille and Daniel Dodin will be in the Venice Biennale exhibition, which is the world's most prestigious platform for contemporary art, until November 24.

Visitors to the exhibition can experience two very different types of work.

Camille's work, 'Drift', is comprised of over 60 metres of embossed, heavy-duty watercolour paper, all in pure white, hung to resemble the powerful waves of a tsunami. Covering the installation are the artist's trademark iconography of leaves, coco de mer nuts, birds, fish and human forms.

For Camille, who is taking part in the Biennale for the third time, the forms symbolise the overwhelming effect of everyday information overload.

"I want to show that in the present state of easy access to new media and the relative ease of creating content on the internet we are inundated with so much information that it's impossible to know which is authentic and true and which is fake," said Camille.

He added that upon entering his installation visitors "will literally walk into the waves, interacting and ducking as they move around the room, confronted with the claustrophobic feeling of being submerged."

In contrast to Camille's work, the art of Dodin is darker. It is made up of three original video projections, sculptures in the form of 'gunny' bags painted with images of bottle collectors, and a wall mounted work. The latter includes drawings made directly onto the plastered surface coupled with the artist's largest painting to date - a three-metre-long composition entitled 'Miserable Joy'.

In all three pieces, Dodin, a first-time participant at the Biennale, depicts young bottle collectors who gather plastic bottles and cans that they later sell.

"'In many of my works I depict the ordinary struggles of local youngsters, many of whom are facing addiction problems while dealing with social discrimination. I find the relatively recent phenomenon of the bottle collectors fascinating," said Dodin.

He explained that "these young men have unique characters -- they spend their days making long journeys carrying big bags on their heads which are filled with empty plastic bottles. Looking at these characters, a sense of courage and desperation are simultaneously revealed."

Camille and Dodin were chosen to attend the Venice exposition after winning the Seychelles' Biennale of Contemporary Arts in 2017.

Artists from Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, have been participating in the Venice International Art Exhibition since 2015. This year the Creative Industries and National Events Agency (CINEA) is commissioning the island nation's participation and Martin Kennedy has been appointed as the curator.

The agency plans to send five Seychellois artists to view the Biennale later this year with the aim of raising awareness within the local artistic community of the standard of work required at this exhibition.

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