Pavilion of the Seychelles

at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

 

 

Biographies

 

Curator: 

Martin Kennedy. b. London, England, 1955.

British/Seychellois, based in the Seychelles since 1997.

Art educator, artist and critic.

Formerly Chair of the London association for Art and Design Education.

Former Principal of International Schools.

Presently working as a consultant in the fields of art and education.

Commissioner:

Benjamine Rose is the Principal Secretary for the Culture Department, which lies within the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. She has held this portfolio since March 2012.  She was born on March 31, 1971 and lives on the main island of Mahe in the Seychelles. Ms Rose's background in the Arts and Cultural field began in 1995 when she graduated as a fashion Designer from Nene College, UK.  She started her career path as a Fashion Lecturer at the College of the Arts of the Seychelles. During her 15 years working in this field Ms Rose progressed to become the Director of the National College of the Arts, following which she was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the National Arts Council in January 2011.Benjamine Rose has a Master’s degree in Leadership skills and Innovation, awarded by the University of Warwick. She serves on a number of important committees including the National Day Celebration Committee and the Seychelles Authors and Composer Society (SACS).  She also leads the organisation of most of the local major national cultural events such as the Festival Kreol, Fet Afrik and La Francophonie.Ms Rose has been a been a contributor to, and logistical supporter of, the Biennale de Venice since the first participation of the Seychelles delegation in 2015.  She was appointed Commissioner for the Architectural Biennale de Venezia in 2016.Ms Rose has a personal interest in photography, nature trails and fashion design.

Artists

Both George Camille, b. Seychelles 1963 and Leon Radegonde, b. Seychelles 1950, who exhibited at the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, are once again present. Camille is one of Seychelles' foremost artists, producing work that includes painting, drawing and printmaking as well as sculpture, assemblage and installation. This diversity is informed by a well-honed personal ideology and iconography, with symbols and motifs knitting together different forms of visual expression.

Radegonde is one of the most important artists working in the Indian Ocean region. His output is a compelling and complex fusion of found objects, the deployment of unconventional materials and processes and an archival subject matter. Radegonde's work, which spans the divide between representational and non-representational, is a determined exploration of history and a way of life in Seychelles that is fast becoming mythological.

The two artists are this year joined by 14 of their contemporaries.

Colbert Nourrice, b. Seychelles 1964. His work often combines expressive and intuitive compositional forms with a personal hieroglyphic; he responds to the development of Seychelles political life as well as the changing cultural and economic landscape.

Egbert Marday, b. Seychelles 1953. Marday is a prolific artist with a range of stylistic preferences. He creates flat work, assemblage, sculpture and mixed media installations. Like Colbert Nourrice he is a social commentator, quick to identify and comment on injustice, both that of the past as well as the present.

Alcide Libanotis, b. Seychelles 1966. He creates figurative work in response to his environment and experiences, both presently in Seychelles and previously during his art training in China, a period which determined his painting style and informed his future selection of subjects.

Christine Chetty-Payet, b. Seychelles 1969. Chetty-Payet is an artist for whom concepts and the materials which realise them are connected within a powerful synergy. Materials traditionally associated with 'women's work' are honoured as they are reinvented and thereby transcend the context within which we normally experience them.

Alyssa Adams, b. Seychelles 1980. Adams's (often) limited palette compositions are intensely busy. They respond to the insane congestion of the tropical forest, where growth is a fight for survival and light is the ultimate prize. Her tortoise reflects and celebrates this organic mayhem.

Tristan Adams, b. Seychelles 1977. His paintings are often personal responses to panorama and vista; they breathe freely and place the viewer before a comprehensive survey of land, sea and sky. His tortoise's carapace presents us with a bird's eye view of one of Seychelles's islands.

Zoe Chong Seng, b. Seychelles 1987. In Chong Seng's work subjects disappear (completely or partially) and re-appear throughout intense sequences of paintings, creating a sense of mystery and discorporation. However rather than alienate the viewer as a consequence, the compositions draw people in. They are luscious and seductive, as is the artist's response to the reptilian form.

Marc Luc, b. Seychelles 1959. Luc is principally an expressionist painter who relishes in the creation of generous and gestural brush strokes. We can imagine him licking his lips as he gleefully swipes a heavily loaded paintbrush across his tortoise, depicting a kaleidoscopic rendition of the country's music scene.

Daniel Dodin, b. Seychelles. 1996. Dodin's paintings frequently chronicle personal change through journeying, a characteristic that reflects the artist's time studying in India, where he refined his approach to picture making in an environment which is in many ways the opposite of home – congested, manic and with a powerful beauty derived principally from human activity and creativity rooted in deep religious beliefs.

Danny Sopha, b. Seychelles 1968. Sopha's colourful canvases, often incorporating sculpted relief forms, celebrate the cultural and natural heritage of Seychelles. They portray – often in symbolic form or through the surreal distortion of scale and perspective – everyday activities which bind people together; fishing and dancing for example.

Charles Dodo, b. Seychelles 1971. Much of Dodo's work contains three dimensional elements, even if not qualifying as conventional sculptural forms. His use of relief indicates an intention to move increasingly towards more pronounced projection from the plane, and this passion is reflected in his modification of the tortoise form.

Allen Ernesta, b. Seychelles 1968. Ernesta's work is probably the closest to strict realism being made in Seychelles today; his sources are often photographic and he is an accomplished technician when it comes to rendering editions of reality. His prowess endows his tortoise with a strong surreal quality.

Nigel Henri, b. Seychelles 1967. Writing in a monograph published about Henri's work in 2005, Lynn Blackadder divided the artist's work into distinct yet symbiotic categories: Anba Lanmer (under water), Nou Dimoun (our people) and Nou Leritaz (our heritage), since when the artist has consolidated and extended these key areas of activity. He was, and remains, a distinctive 'artist of Seychelles'.

Christine Harter, b. Seychelles 1951. Harter's oeuvre is mostly watercolour, and so the tortoise project has provoked fresh and exciting directions and media for the artist's consideration. Working with armature and feathers Harter has taken her tortoise out of the mud of its natural habitat and into the air.

 

 

 

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