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Respected Seychellois artist Leon Radegonde exhibits new works on slavery and poverty

Victoria, Seychelles | March 3, 2024, Sunday @ 11:46 in Entertainment » ARTS & CULTURE | By: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 5125
Respected Seychellois artist Leon Radegonde exhibits new works on slavery and poverty

The exhibition opened at the National Art Gallery in the Seychelles National Library on Friday. (Seychelles News Agency)

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A solo exhibition showing various aspects of Seychellois culture and history done by well-known contemporary artist Leon Radegonde opened at the National Art Gallery in the Seychelles National Library on Friday.

Radegonde told SNA that it took over six years to complete this cycle of work and that "this exhibition is showing various aspects of Seychelles culture and history such as slavery and poverty - things that people do not really like to talk about."

The artist uses the Arte Povera style (meaning poor or impoverished art), which originated from Italy in the 1960s, whereby most of these artists use commonplace materials that can bring a pre-industrial age such as earth, rocks, clothing, paper and rope.

The exhibition's curator, Martin Kennedy, described Radegonde's work as one that uses "materials that were in common use in his household as a child."

In a previous interview with SNA, Radegonde said, "I use materials which I believe have a story to tell, they have lived a long life and already have had their own experience. If they have not been transformed by the weather or by people, I transform them and make it look as if I just picked them up from somewhere in nature."

Radegonde said the exhibition is showing various aspects of Seychelles culture and history such as slavery and poverty. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY 

Although most of his work is quite sombre, Radegonde exhibits his work abroad and mostly French and German clients purchase his work. He is well known among German art lovers, as he presented a solo exhibition in 2011 in Munich, the largest city in Bavaria, Germany.

Having represented his country on the international scene such as at the Venice Biennale in 2015, Radegonde's latest participation in the international art scene was at the 2023 Dubai World Art Fair.

All of his works in the exhibition are on sale.

Radegonde's exhibition at the newly renovated National Art Gallery is the second one after a cartography and maps exhibition called "Seychelles: A journey through the history of maps (1482-1830)" held in January.

The executive director of the Creative Seychelles Agency, Emmanuel D'Offay, said: "The Gallery will be a place where art can be experienced and appreciated by all."

Meanwhile, now that the National Art Gallery has started showing artwork, D'Offay has urged all artists to use the facility "wisely, as a stepping stone of their development".

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Tags: National Art Gallery, National Library, Venice Biennale

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