Art Graeme Pool holds first solo exhibition |07 April 2022
A collection of art works by young artist Graeme Pool are on display at the Carrefour Des Arts.
The exhibition, organised in collaboration with the National Arts and Crafts Council (NACC), was opened on Monday afternoon by the executive director of NACC, Jimmy Savy.
Present were the secretary general of the Seychelles National Institute for Culture, Heritage and the Arts (SNICHA), David André; chief executive of the Seychelles National Youth Council, Penny Belmont; director of the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design (Siad), Christine Chetty-Payet; director of Eden Art Space, Martin Kennedy among other artists, colleagues, families and friends.
The solo exhibition, a first for the 31-year-old artist, consists of 30 works of realism, abstract, seascapes and landscapes of our country and the human anatomy.
The exhibition will remain open until April 29, 2022 and all paintings are on sale.
Graeme was introduced to the world of art at the age of 11 by his mother, Marie-Celine Pool, through magazines, stories and from her own experience as an art student at the then Seychelles Polytechnic Visual Arts.
“My mother never got the chance to finish her studies because she came from a poor background and had to leave school early to earn a salary to help out at her home. This encouraged me to take up art and work hard in order to help her realise her dream through me,”Graeme said of his mother who provided him with moral support and for buying various art supplies so that he could practice continuously.
As a young student he also took first prize in the Zenn Artis Kreolofonn art competition during the 2007 Festival Kreol. In 2014 he also took first prize in SNYC’s ‘Sesel enspir Mwan’ art competition.
After completing his secondary education at Plaisance in 2011, Graeme joined the School of Visual Arts at the Seychelles Polytechnic in 2012 and in 2013 he went on his first attachment with artist Allen Samson in his studio at Barbarons. Following his studies at the Visual Arts where he obtained an A-Level certificate in fine arts in 2013, Graeme went on to teach art for two years at Belonie and Anse Boileau secondary schools. In 2015 he pursued his studies for six years in China where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in oil painting.
Due to the pandemic, he had to graduate in the country in 2021 and while still unemployed, he awaits for the moment to retrieve his certificate and other qualifications and things he has – but are stuck in China – that would help him seek employment.
Apart from getting the chance to work with different art teachers, he also spent time in the many arts workshops organised by the then National Arts Council (NAC) in a bid to realise his dream to become an artist.
“I feel very happy and proud to hold my first solo exhibition. It’s been a long life dream ever since I’ve been a very young student at school. I’ve attended exhibitions and participated in some but I’ve never really had my own. I really wanted to know how it feels to host your own exhibition,” said Graeme whose aim was to host a credible exhibition that would wow people.
He noted that he wanted, through his exhibition, to show that there are young people out there who are willing to work hard and can work hard.
“With this exhibition I want to pave the way for other young people to follow the example and work hard to achieve any dream they have,” Graeme said.
During the opening ceremony, there were testimonies and words of encouragement by Jude Ally, one of Graeme’s past art teachers at the Plaisance secondary school, Mr Samson with whom he did his work attachment and from his mother who supported him.
While many young artists are being discouraged to take up arts on the grounds that one will not be able to earn a living from it, Mr Savy in his opening remarks assured the young people willing to become artists that they can earn a living through art as has demonstrated by the many Seychellois artists still in the business. He noted though that to be successful artists require creative thinking and hard work.
Mr Savy thanked Graeme for coming out to show his talents and called on other young artists with artistic talents to also come out, adding that the NACC through SNICHA will be there to support them.
Apart from being an artist, Graeme is also a very active SNYC member and member of the district youth council in his district of Ile Persévérance where he is engaged in youth empowerment and youth awareness programmes.
The accompanying photos show guests viewing the exhibition on opening day.
Photos by Louis Toussaint