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April 21 2017

ARTERIAL NETWORK SEYCHELLES at La Biennale di Venezia 2017

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PRESS RELEASE | Pavilion of the Seychelles at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

'Slowly Quietly' is an exhibition of the work of 16 Seychellois artists, collectively known as
Group Sez.

The Commissioner for the Seychelles Pavilion is Ms Benjamine Rose, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Department of Culture.

The Curator is Mr Martin Kennedy and the exhibition is organised by the Seychelles Art Projects Foundation (SAPF), the organisation which successfully managed the first ever Seychelles pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

SAPF gratefully acknowledges the support of the following organisations, without whom the Pavilion would not be possible: Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, European Cultural Centre, Global Art Affairs Foundation, Seychelles Tourism Board, Arterial Network Seychelles, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, National Arts Council, Air Seychelles, Kreolor, Sun Motors, Hunt, Deltel & Co. Ltd, Le Chantier Dental Clinic, Red Coral.

'Creep' is the collective noun for the tortoise and, within the spirit of the theme 'Viva Arte Viva', Seychellois artists of the Group Sez offer for public appreciation and pleasure a 'creep' of 16 life-size Seychelles giant tortoises, each individually customised by the sixteen artists to bring aspects of Seychelles's environment and culture to Venice.

The giant tortoise is revered in the Seychelles for its longevity and character, and has become a national symbol, found in the wild as well as in domestic settings. The fibreglass 'blanks' have become primed canvases for artists to embellish. Group Sez artists have met together, with some sculptures being realised through intense collaboration of concepts and approaches. Most now carry some painting, whilst others have seen their natural forms extended. The power inherent in these creatures – an adult can upturn a car – is evident and implicit, yet many of the final pieces exude a charm and grace that can be simultaneously engaging and unsettling.

Artists have chosen to interpret the project's starting point with great diversity; we have expressionist reptiles and surrealist brethren. Some shine and catch the eye with their gaudy vulgarity; some are sexy, some are scary. For some viewers the transformations are disturbing as well as thought-provoking. Together they present a snapshot of Seychelles today, with the common visual denominator being a creature that appears out of time, its pace and habits out of synch with human lives which, even in the relative calm of Seychelles, are squeezed and rushed.

When visitors interact with living giant tortoises it invariably provokes introspection and reflection. The head of the tortoise, poised and inscrutable, is pocked and lined with an immeasurable and unknowable topography. One can become quite lost looking into its ancient and rheumy eyes, just as one can experience a transformation of time and place before art. Living art. Art that is real. The Group Sez invites you to experience yourselves as well as their project.

The Group Sez comprises some of the most celebrated artists working in the Indian region today.

George Camille | Leon Radegonde | Colbert Nourrice | Egbert Marday | Alcide Libanotis | Christine Chetty-Payet | Alyssa Adams | Tristan Adams | Zoe Chong Seng | Daniel Dodin | Danny Sopha | Charles Dodo | Allen Ernesta | Nigel Henri | Christine Harter

To read more about the pavilion and the artists involved, please click here to download the full press release

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