Art teachers from public schools gear up to take students on visits to biennale exhibitions |05 August 2022
To ensure those who visit the Seychelles Biennale of Contemporary Art 2022 exhibitions understand to some extent the different art pieces on display, a group of art teachers from public schools around the country followed an education and awareness session at the Seychelles Chinese Cultural Centre on Monday afternoon.
Led by the curator of the biennale Martin Kennedy, the session was to ensure the art teachers have some knowledge and understanding of the different artworks and installations pieces on display so they can explain to their own students when they take them to view the exhibition.
Mr Kennedy launched the session with an overview of the exhibition in general and the different forms of art on display, the different exhibition venues and why such an awareness session was important.
“I think it is very important in education that art departments, art teachers and art lessons are given more importance.”
He went on to add that the skills their students should be taught are creative thinking, problem solving, analysis and communication.
Mr Kennedy emphasised that the education pack provided to the teachers wasn’t a set of rules that they had to implement with their students, but rather a guide to help them.
“The pack is something for you to play with, to work with and you can change it and customise it. You can also ignore it.”
He noted that the pack contains suggestions on how the students and teachers can spend and make the most of their time at the exhibitions.
Mr Kennedy further added that the session with the teachers was intended to complement the education pack that all schools have received during the past week to better prepare themselves and their pupils for the biennale event.
Mr Kennedy explained that the first section of the pack include activities that can be done at school before the students visit the exhibitions, to give the teachers some ideas on how to prepare their students for the visit.
This is followed by an information section on what the students can do during their visit. It consists of workshops and practical exercises.
There is also a section about what follow-ups can be done once the students have returned to school following their visit at the exhibitions.
As part of the awareness session, the teachers were divided into different groups before spreading out through the vast exhibition halls to freely explore and observe the art installations on display there.
Mr Kennedy accompanied by students from the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design (SIAD), who have already been briefed on the different art installation pieces and their respective artists, were present to clarify different issues raised and answer any questions the teachers had.
Text and photo by Sylia Ah-Time