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Up-and-coming Seychellois artists immersed in global styles at Venice Biennale

Victoria, Seychelles | December 22, 2019, Sunday @ 09:39 in Entertainment » ARTS & CULTURE | By: Sharon Ernesta | Views: 7080
Up-and-coming Seychellois artists immersed in global styles at Venice Biennale

Zelime and Chong Seng were chosen through an open call by the Creative Industries and National Events Agency. (Martin Kennedy) 

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In a bid to further develop creative arts in Seychelles, two up-and-coming artists were given the chance to experience the 58th Venice Biennale exhibition -- the world's most prestigious art exposition.

Zoe Chong Seng and Juliette Zelime were exposed to the standard and style of global art at the event which opened in May for six months.

The visit also allowed the artists to see the works of fellow Seychellois Georges Camille and Daniel Dodin, whose installations were on display.

“This experience has made me realise that no matter how small a country is, its artists can create powerful artworks that can have an impact on the world,” said  Zelime.

The artist added: “I am grateful for this opportunity, which reminded me that art keeps evolving and if we stay in one place we will not know of, learn about or experience new developments. We need to be able to update, adapt and improve our own artworks.”  

“This experience has made me realise that no matter how small a country is, its artists can create powerful artworks that can have an impact on the world,” said  Zelime. (Martin Kennedy) Photo License: All Rights Reserved 

On her part, Chong Seng said that the visit had given her the opportunity to experience the global art scene.

“I can now take a fresh perspective with regards to how art in Seychelles fits into it. The breadth and variety of materials now used to create art are wide but I think that there is still a place for more traditional media like drawing and painting. There is value in maintaining things from the past while jumping forward into the future.”

Chong Seng added, “I also noticed how globalisation and new technologies have made the subject matter more universal and accessible to a diverse audience.”

When the participation of Camille and Dodin at the Biennale was announced in March this year, it was also announced that five young artists will also have the chance to visit the exhibition thanks to the allocation of a budget – approximately $88,200 - for the event, something which was not done before.

This allocation was the government’s way of acknowledging the contribution of culture in the economy and this is why the budget was approved to support the artists.

Zelime and Chong Seng were chosen through an open call by the Creative Industries and National Events Agency (CINEA).

The two artists followed an orientation programme which enabled them to further develop their creative practice and share their experiences of the Venice exposition with other Seychellois artists.  

Chong Seng said, "I also noticed how globalisation and new technologies have made the subject matter more universal and accessible to a diverse audience," (Martin Kennedy) Photo License: All Rights Reserved 

All this leading to contributions to further the development of visual art in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.

The chief executive of the agency, Galen Bresson, said: “CINEA is delighted to have been able to support the development of two of our most important young artists.”

According to Bresson, “Zoe is an exceptionally accomplished figurative painter while Juliette works across diverse media to create her work. It will be fascinating to see the creative consequences of this visit when these two artists return to Seychelles.”

The artists were accompanied in Venice by Martin Kennedy - the curator of the Seychelles National Pavilion – and Vivienne Croisée, the senior arts development officer of the National Arts Council.

Apart from visiting the Seychelles pavilion, the group also visited both parts of the official Biennale – the Arsenale and the Giardini, as well as the many other exhibitions that were outside the main exhibition platforms.

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Tags: 58th Venice Biennale exhibition, CINEA, Biennale of Contemporary Art

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