The National Gallery will be located inside the renovated National Library building. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) – The new Seychelles National Gallery, located inside the National Library building, will hold its first exhibition in November, said a top official on Wednesday.
The executive director of the Creative Seychelles Agency (CSA), Emmanuel D’Offay, told reporters that the Gallery will function as the most important space for exhibition in Seychelles.
It will cover an area of around 300 square metres, with high ceilings and a structural format that eases modular and flexible display areas.
D’Offay said that aside from being modern, the Gallery will have an open plan reception and sales area, with internet stations providing direct access to work made by leading Seychellois artists.
The first event in November will be a cartography map exhibition done in collaboration with the Blue Economy department. The exhibition will launch the opening of the Gallery, which closed in 2018 when the National Library closed down due to a fungus infestation.
With its imminent re-launch, D’Offay revealed that the National Gallery will be up to international standards as “these days there are components the authorities had to take into account to attract the participation of international artists.”
These include taking into account the lighting and humidity, among others.
“In the last Biennale held in Seychelles, we had to make the best of the situation as we were exhibiting a Swiss artist who was showing ice sculptures,” said D’Offay, who added that the authorities have learned much from the recent experiences.
The CSA is also hoping to attract international artists to hold exhibitions in Seychelles
D’Offay said this is why the Gallery “will function under certain terms of reference, which will include 70 percent of the work on show will that of local Seychellois artists and the remaining 25 percent will be that of international artists.”
The agency is currently discussing partnerships with India and Dubai as well as looking at existing bilateral agreements to ensure this happens.
“Through existing bilateral agreements we will be able to see what we can bring in as it is important to us that there is an exchange allowing Seychellois artists to see works of others from other countries. This will maybe inspire them to and they may also measure their works to their other colleagues from overseas,” said D’Offay.
As a result, the National Gallery will no longer show the works of students and others who are yet to reach the required level. This group of artists will showcase their works at the Domaine De Val De Pres Gallery and other private galleries found around the country.
“Once an artist’s work is shown in the gallery it will be like the person has earned themselves a spot in the Tate Gallery or others in the world that only show the best of the best,” he added.
As part of its new drive, artists meeting the required criteria will have to apply for a spot so that they may then receive available dates as the agency will now plan the National Gallery‘s calendar for a whole year.
The application process will also include them sending in samples of their works, and the curator will then decide whether they are worth going to the gallery.
The next artist’s work due to be displayed is that of a seasoned Seychellois artist specialising in contemporary art, Leon Radegonde, in January.
CSA also revealed that some activities and exhibitions will be paying events, but it is still working on the prices.