Byenal Sesel (July 31 – Aug. 28) |21 July 2022
Huge exhibition of modern art imminent
With just a little more than a week to go before the opening of the 2022 Byenal Sesel, the Seychelles Chinese Cultural centre is a hub of activity and creativity.
Artists from Seychelles and a dozen other countries are working with two technical teams to literally fill the Centre with cutting edge contemporary art. Alongside traditional art forms such as painting and sculpture the show will feature new technologies, video works and installations.
A modern art exhibition in today’s Seychelles is unrecognisable from the kind of exposition that the public would have been familiar with thirty years ago. The biennale gives Seychellois artists the opportunity to create work radically different in concept and ambition to work that they might normally make to suit the tourism market and put food on their tables.
The exhibition curators have been extremely impressed with the quality of ideas and the tenacity of local artists as they prepare to showcase their creativity alongside some highly regarded and well-established international participants.
The National Arts and Crafts Council has provided financial support to all Seychellois participating artists and its executive director, Jimmy Savy, feels that exhibiting together provides opportunities for both groups of artists to learn from each other.
But it is not just the artists who will engage on steep developmental curves, as our local technicians will be working with, and learning from, Venice Biennale experts provided by the European Cultural Centre (ECC), whose President Rene Rietmeyer has supported Seychelles’s participation in the present Venice Biennale and the previous three editions of this most famous of all international art expositions.
The ECC is one of a number of key sponsors, with this unprecedented event supported by large organisations such as Vijay Construction, Penlac, Creole Travel Services, ISPC, MCB and ABSA bank, alongside less conventional associates like the International School and Arterial Network Seychelles.
“All support is crucial and confirms the commitment to national cultural development by our valued partners,” commented Mr Savy.
For the first time the Biennale will have satellite exhibitions on the island of Praslin, with both Lemuria Resort and Les Lauriers Eco Hotel hosting international installation artists, films of which will be shown on Mahé for those unable to make the trip across.
All residents and visitors are encouraged to visit the biennale during the four weeks it is open (from July 31 to August 28), with schools especially urged to organise trips to the exhibition.
Co-Curator Vivienne Croisée says: “We are hopeful that this exhibition will attract a very large audience. There will be something for everyone and we have selected work that will stimulate and provoke conversation and debate.”