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Explosion of colours, free-form animals: Artist opens new exhibit in Seychelles

Victoria, Seychelles | February 24, 2019, Sunday @ 09:45 in Entertainment » ARTS & CULTURE | By: Salifa Karapetyan Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 3906
Explosion of colours, free-form animals: Artist opens new exhibit in Seychelles

The paintings by Gabriele Schnitzenbaumer, a German-born artist, will take you into a world of dreams. (Louis Toussaint)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Floating human forms alongside animals with mutated bodies within landscapes of smudged colours. Those are some of the most prominent features that will strike visitors at the newly opened art exhibition at the Eden Art Space Gallery in the Eden Plaza.

The paintings by Gabriele Schnitzenbaumer, a German-born artist, will take you into a world of dreams through compositions put together with rules that do not apply in reality. Human forms are everywhere, alongside strange and blotched alien landscapes and animal forms.

Undeniably bold, each piece is open to interpretation, each of which can be humorous, terrifying or seductive. The surreal paintings can be admired and bought until March 15, with pieces ranging from $880 to $5,280, depending on their sizes and medium painted on.

In her catalogue, Schnitzenbaumer compared her way of painting to the Rorschach test, a psychological test in which subjects' perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analysed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both.

“My painting process starts more or less like a wild orgy or frenzy of uncontrolled paint explosions all over the canvas, and then I try to gain control. I start searching for a story and for figures evolving out of the colour patches, continuously adding, eliminating and evolving until I know ‘now it is perfect’ and the story is ready to be told,” she wrote.

Schnitzenbaumer compared her way of painting to the Rorschach test, a psychological test. (Louis Toussaint) Photo License: CC-BY

The artist was born in Germany and grew up in the years of war and the post-war period, despite which, she described her childhood as happy. Her ties to Seychelles go back decades, as she came on board one of the first flights to Seychelles just after the airport opened.

Living between Germany, New York and Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, Schnitzenbaumer placed together this exhibition to mark her 80th birthday. The exhibition is being made possible by the Arterial Network Seychelles, a network that aims at supporting and developing art in Seychelles.

Aside from paintings, Schnitzenbaumer also produces small sculptures in her home studio located at North East Point, Glacis, a northern district of the Seychelles' main island. The sculptures in the exhibition are much smaller than the works for which the artist is best known in Europe.

They are intense forms, created from found objects, ceramic forms and shaped metal, where again the human form is very prominent.

An art lover, Lalita Mayadas, present at the private viewing and opening of the exhibition on Tuesday, told SNA that this particular exhibition is so vibrant.

“The colours and each individual piece seem to kind of speak a little bit and they are all very different. I would love to spend some time with the artist to understand where she came from as the art are just simply amazing,” said Mayadas.

Each piece is open to interpretation, each of which can be humorous, terrifying or seductive. (Louis Toussaint) Photo License: CC-BY

Even during the private view, many of the pieces in the exhibition had already been sold. Speaking about a piece he bought, Nirmal Jivan Shah said that he chose this particular sculpture call ‘Machabe’ as it is a unique piece that moves.

“The sculpture is like a hanging acrobat and I find it amazing that it moves. I am going to hang it away from the wall so that I can have a sculpture that moves,” said Jivan Shah.

He said that he supports Arterial Network Seychelles’ initiative to bring internationally renowned artists into the country “as it is important to get influences from overseas.” 

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Tags: Eden Art Space gallery, Arterial Network Seychelles

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