Seychelles Biennale opens: Artists inspired from diverse cultures

Forty-four artists from 19 different countries, including Seychelles, are participating part in this year’s edition of the Seychelles Biennale of Contemporary Art, which is taking place from July 31- August 28. The artists rewarded this year are Ryan Chetty, Juliette Zelime and Barry Gertrude from Seychelles and Kavinash Thomas from Mauritius.

Three Seychellois artists and one from Mauritius were rewarded for their outstanding work at the launch of the Seychelles Biennale of Contemporary Arts on Sunday.

Forty-four artists from 19 different countries, including Seychelles, are participating part in this year’s edition of the Seychelles Biennale of Contemporary Art, which is taking place from July 31 – August 28.

The artists rewarded this year are Ryan Chetty, Juliette Zelime and Barry Gertrude from Seychelles and Kavinash Thomas from Mauritius.

Chetty, who participated in the ‘Lost and Found’ virtual exhibition last year, won the grand prize. He received a cash prize of SCR120,000 ($8,900) for his work entitled ‘Appreciation is the key to a humble life.’

“With the Biennale postponed in 2020, I was able to get more work done and make it better. This is the first time that I have used a video and photo transformer to illustrate my work,” said Chetty.

Juliette Zelime won the Best Emerging Artist prize and Barry Gertrude was awarded the Personal Artistic Development prize.

Thomas was given the National Arts and Craft Council (NACC) award and expressed his joy at being recognised by Seychelles for his work, which shows that his work is appreciated beyond Mauritius.

In an interview in June, the chief judge for the event, Seychellois artist Georges Camille, said that the winner will be the one who has responded well to the theme and the impact left on the viewers with regards to the work done.

The 2022 Seychelles Biennale of Contemporary Arts was opened on Sunday in the presence of President Wavel Ramkalwan at the Seychelles Chinese Cultural Centre or what is historically known as Pagoda in Benezet Street in the capital, Victoria.

The Biennale’s curator, Martin Kennedy, said that in this year’s event the artists revealed themselves through their works and that this one is the biggest exhibition ever held in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.

“It is truly an international exhibition of international calibre and I thank all the participating artists,” said Kennedy.

The Seychelles Biennale, which is open to the public, includes sideshows and exhibitions at locations such as the National History Museum, Kenwyn House, the Carrefour Gallery of the Nationals Art and Craft Council and at the Eden Art Space Gallery.

The secretary general for Seychelles National Institute for Culture, Heritage and the Arts, David Andre, said that the works on display show that artists are inspired by different cultures.

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