"Lost and Found": 44 artists to exhibit works at Seychelles Biennale
The Biennale will be held be held under the theme "Lost and Found," which relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. (National Art and Craft Council)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Forty-four artists from 19 different countries including Seychelles will take part in this year's edition of the Seychelles Biennale of Contemporary Art scheduled for July 31 - August 28.
According to the event's curator, Martin Kennedy, the Biennale will be held be held under the theme "Lost and Found," which relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, "because during those difficult times people lost their lifestyle and then began to find it again."
The Seychelles Biennale will include sideshows and exhibitions at locations such as the National History Museum, Kenwyn House, the Carrefour Gallery of the National Art and Craft Council and at the Eden Art Space Gallery. The main event will be held at the Chinese cultural centre known as the Pagoda at Benezet Street in the capital of Victoria.
Artists from Seychelles will join those from Austria, Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Mauritius, India, and South Africa in several events which will include paintings, drawings, printmaking, sculptures, interactive art, photography installation and assemblage.
Kennedy said that to get participants for the event an an open call was made to both artists in Seychelles and internationally through the different art councils that the National Art and Craft Council (NACC) had links with.
"We received applications from all over the world. Artists were invited to submit their applications with examples of how they intended to respond to the theme and what they were going to produce [...] we looked at the quality of the concept, we wanted the artist to respond to the theme in a powerful and a positive way. We also looked at the track record of the artist, their past works, and the diversity of media," he explained
Kennedy said that some artists who will not be able to be present physically for the event sent in their artwork to be exhibited.
The artworks will be assessed by five judges, namely three local ones, one from Kenya and one from South Africa. The chief judge will be Seychellois artist Georges Camille who won the competition in 2019. Camille is also the first Seychellois artist to take part in the Beijing International Art Biennale.
Camille said that "aside from the main piece of artwork for the exhibition there will be other artwork that the artists will provide along with their text. 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."
As for prizes for the event, the top prize will be a Golden coco de mer worth around SCR120,000 ($9,321), the second prize valued at SCR60,000 ($4,664) and a special prize of SCR30,000 ($2,332) for the best emerging/ developing artist.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, will also be receiving assistance from two technicians from the Venice Biennale, provided by the European Cultural Centre (ECC) whose president, Rene Rietmeyer, has supported the island nation's participation in the present Venice Biennale and the previous three editions of this famous international art exposition.
This is the second Seychelles Biennale for Contemporary under the theme "Lost and Found". The first one was in 2017 and with the COVID pandemic in 2020, the one scheduled for April 2020 could not be held physically, so a Lockdown Virtual Biennale was organised instead.