A Seychellois painter celebrates his birthday with an exhibition coloured by COVID
The walls of this gallery how show extensive paintings depicting the Seychelles' ocean creatures, scenes of the bustling Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clark market and the Seychellois people. (Fabienne Fardial)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A Seychellois artist who sometimes celebrates his birthday with an exhibition of his masterpieces unveiled a new collection this year devoted to the lockdown period during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigel Henri opened the exhibition on his birthday at the gallery at Carrefours Des Arts, in Seychelles' capital Victoria, on June 15. The exhibition is expected to close July 2.
The walls of this gallery how show extensive paintings depicting the Seychelles' ocean creatures, scenes of the bustling Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clark market and the Seychellois people.
"For my birthday five years ago, I flew together with a cohort of my family members to Germany for a vernissage. This year with the pandemic restrictions, I decided it will be much more convenient to have an exhibition at the gallery in Victoria," Henri told SNA.
The artist says the exhibition is going well and visits are by appointment to maintain the COVID-19 health measures in place.
|Henri said that with COVID-19 it was more convenient to have an exhibition. (Fabienne Fardial) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
Henri said he is fortunate to have work commissioned during this unprecedented time.
"I have several paintings commissioned by a local entrepreneur, Wilson Nancy, to decorate his new tourism infrastructure. I salute his efforts to support local artists. In my experience and that of other Seychellois artists, most prominent tourism businesses in Seychelles outsource international artists."
Nancy said he commissioned several paintings that will hang in the rooms of his new establishment at Anse Etoile, a district northern Mahe district.
"I believe in a time like this we need to support our local artists. Henri has created several masterpieces that depict the livelihoods and environment of the Northern district. I am quite pleased with the art that will visually echo Seychelles' stories, natural environment, and culture in my building," said Nancy.
|The artist says the exhibition is going well and visits are by appointment to maintain the COVID-19 health measures in place. (Fabienne Fardial) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
With the scenes of gossip and what might appear to be the mundane routines of the daily trips to the town's market on his canvasses, Henri explores a realistic representation of the expression of the market's favourite people.
Egbert Nibourette, a tour guide, features in several paintings because of his daily trips to the market.
"The artist is a long-time friend of mine. On one of my daily trips to the market, Henri snapped a photo while I was chatting away with the usual friendly sellers. These paintings are an unexpected outcome." Nibourette told SNA.
Going forward, Henri promises his fans an upcoming new exhibition that will explore the pandemic and the way people live in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has sprung out my creativity in a new dimension. I am working on some paintings that will document the new normal period. The public usually appreciates recognizing who is who in the paintings. It will be interesting at my next exhibition if the viewers find it easy to recognise the subjects in masks," said Henri.
Henri, who is renowned for his underwater paintings locally and internationally, had over 30 local exhibitions and over 25 exhibitions overseas. He has art pieces on permanent exhibition in the Museum Zündorfer Wehrturm in Cologne, Germany.