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Kenyan photographer Zia Manji hosts exhibition on Seychelles waterscapes |02 July 2022

Kenyan photographer Zia Manji hosts exhibition on Seychelles waterscapes

(From l to r): George Camille, Kelly-Mary Annette, First Lady Linda Ramkalawan and Zia Manji

The Maylene's Hope Foundation and Seychelles Art Foundation in collaboration with George Camille Gallery (Kaz Zanana) are hosting a fine art photography exhibition of Seychelles waterscapes titled ‘Conversations with First Light’, by Kenyan photographer Zia Manji.

The exhibition, held at the Kaz Zanana art gallery in Victoria, was officially opened on Tuesday June 28 by First Lady Linda Ramkalawan, the patron of the Maylene’s Hope Foundation. It features over 30 black and white, colour, and infrared photographs of the islands of Mahé, Praslin, Bird, Silhouette, and Denis.

It was Zia’s first exhibition in the country after hosting several other exhibitions in Kenya to raise money for wildlife conservation.

All of the exhibits are on sale and the profits will be donated to the Maylene's Hope Foundation founded by Miss Seychelles 2020 and Miss Intercontinental Africa Kelly-Mary Annette. The foundation supports orphans and semi-orphans with their emotional and psychological well-being after losing one or both of their parents. It focuses on children and adolescents between the ages of 4 and 20 years old, by giving them a platform to express their inner emotions through creative forms of art, poetry, and other activities.

The opening of the exhibition coincided with the 1st anniversary of the launching of the foundation.

After an introductory remark by Martin Kennedy from the Seychelles Art Foundation and an overview of the foundation by Ms Annette, Mrs Ramkalawan thanked Zia for choosing Seychelles to host the exhibition and the opportunity to see the islands, through his eyes from a different perspective through which she had experience calm and tranquility.

She also thanked him for choosing the foundation to donate the proceeds of his photographic work while encouraging art lovers to buy a piece of the art works on display which will go towards a good cause.

The prices of the photographic art works range from R1000 to R5900.

Zia, who is married to a Seychellois, is a frequent visitor to our country where he has captured our waterscapes in a unique and engaging style that reflects a silent wonder, and arouses imagination and reverie through his styles of long-exposures, infrared and impressionistic photography.

Trained in traditional analogue photography, he has remained true to its realms while combining a deep interest in the affective experience of photography.    

The opening of the exhibition was also an opportunity for him to launch his first book, ‘Silentium’, a beautifully designed monograph curating the works of his first 12 years in fine art photography with more than 50 photographs from around the world, reflecting his love for waterscapes and landscapes. The book, which he presented a copy to First Lady Ramkalawan, is on sale at R500.

Zia said that by allowing viewers to view his photos and to donate the proceeds to the Maylene's Hope Foundation was his way of giving back to the country that he has visited for the past twenty years.

He added that he felt honoured and privileged to host the exhibition and to launch his first book here. He also commended the important and meaningful work being done by the foundation and thanked all those who have helped him in one way or another.

The exhibition will remain open at the gallery for four weeks.


Patrick Joubert

Photos by Louis Toussaint

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