James Agricole depicts ‘Nature’ in first solo exhibition |08 August 2022
Seychellois artist James Agricole is exhibiting nineteen of his artwork depicting his love and passion for nature.
The exhibition, Agricole’s first solo work in Seychelles, is being held under theme ‘Nature Speaks in Colour’, and is open to the public at the Eden Art Gallery since last week.
The 44-year-old said it was always his wish to display his work in a solo exhibition but there was never an opportune time. His last solo exhibition was in Dubai in 2016.
“This is my profession so it is difficult to put a collection together, as I sell my work for a living. Even now it was difficult to put a collection together. I ended up one piece short, so I am displaying 19 instead of 20 artwork,” explained Agricole.
Agricole’s love for art started at an early age. He was inspired by his mother’s work, in the arts and craft sector, making ‘batik’ fabric goods.
His work varies from realism to semi-realism and abstract impressionism. The artist said he is fascinated by nature and this is reflected in the theme chosen for his exhibition.
“Nature is God’s first creation before humans and animals and I am here to take every one on a journey, to witness the beauty and understand that we are privileged to be here. We are just a small fraction on this earth,” said Agricole.
Last week’s vernissage at Eden Art Space was with the support of Arterial Network Seychelles and it attracted a large group of art lovers, who wanted to share this auspicious occasion with Agricole.
When addressing the guests, the chairperson of the Arterial Network Seychelles, Laurent Alis, said the artist’s work was initially more about precision as he felt in his earlier days that he owed it to his viewers to prove his worthiness and talent.
He added that this changed over time, and “James has learnt to be freer as an artist, and to feel his way through a painting rather than produce something of technical precision”.
He described Agricole’s work as “an emerging expression of his intuition and feelings that resonate with us”.
“This body of works illustrate this transition and growth beautifully. You will see some paintings with clear, defined lines; while others are more abstract with heavy, chunky strokes of the brush. We feel when looking at this collection, that he has surrendered himself to the colours and shapes over the years,” said Alis.
One of Agricole’s colleagues, artist Colbert Nourrice, described the exhibition as “fantastic”, stating that Agricole’s technique is one that takes time, but he was happy that he has been able to deliver his work on time for this exhibition “which is very pleasant to view”.
‘Nature Speaks in Colour’ is one of three sideshows taking place during this year’s Seychelles Biennale for Contemporary Arts 2022. In a social media post on the Arterial Network’s page, the biennale’s curator, Martin Kennedy, said his compositions are bold in both design and palette and “essentially the artist follows in the footsteps of nineteenth century Impressionists as he interrogates – as they did – the effect of light on the world”.
Kennedy added the “paintings may be technicolour bright at times but Agricole is capable of great subtlety, through his rendering of the discrete hues of nightfall, or the emergence of line and form which a sunrise facilitates”.
This is the only solo exhibition planned by Agricole for this year.
Eden Art Space will be exhibiting James’s work until August 27, as part of the Seychelles Biennale for Contemporary Arts 2022.
The accompanying photos show some of Agricole’s artwork on display as well as some highlights of the opening of the exhibition last week.
Photos by Kurtrine Albert