International artist opens exhibition, works with artists in Seychelles

Seychellois artists will have the chance to benefit from cultural exchanges with international artist Laura Jacobs. The local artists have also had the chance to appreciate the work of their colleagues at a newly opened exhibition at the Eden Art Space Gallery.

Jacobs will be holding a series of lectures, workshops and gallery events and is showcasing over 100 artworks � mainly drawings and paintings - in the exhibition from August 4 to the end of the month. Some of the lectures will be held in partnership with the University of Seychelles. All the work in the exhibition were made in London and New York where Jacobs followed a scholarship during the past 10 years.

The exhibition is an opportunity to have a cultural exchange with Seychellois artists. It is linked with workshops and lectures, so it is a chance for me to share my work and for me to see and meet Seychellois artists, see their work as well as to have a dialogue about it, said Jacobs.

Jacobs told SNA that there is a narrative that runs through her work which all revolves around her personal experiences. The work is very personal with lots of it being self-portrait and it is about my family life, my surroundings, such as the building that my studio is in. Some painters work from their imagination, but I work from what I see in my world. I have been influenced a lot by my time in New York by abstract expressionists and by painters who work from life, said Jacobs.

The London-based artist is best known for her large scale site specific works which are made in response to a specific environment or location. Jacobs does not create landscapes, rather choosing to work with considerable intensity from interiors � rooms, corridors and storage areas. Discarded furniture, architectural details and associated manufactured objects fill compositions which are alive with detail.

The exhibition is being organized by the Arterial Network Seychelles, in collaboration with the British High Commission and Hunt Dentel. The chairperson of the arterial network, Martin Kennedy, said that he and his team hope that through our series of 'side' events which will be published shortly, the artist will be able to meet, work with, inspire and be inspired by Seychellois artists.

We invited Laura to exhibit here for several reasons, principally because of the quality of her vision and technical execution, but also because, being figurative work rooted in the real world, it will speak powerfully to artists in Seychelles, the majority of whom continue to reference real places and people in their practice, said Kennedy. Arterial Network Seychelles aims at supporting and developing art in Seychelles � an archipelago of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. It is part of Arterial Network, a Pan-African civil-society network grouping artists, cultural activists, entrepreneurs, enterprises, non-profit organisations, institutions, and donors active in Africa's creative and cultural sectors.

During the opening of the exhibition, held on August 3 at the gallery, local artists and other art enthusiasts had the chance to see Jacob's work and talk to the artist.

I am looking at everything and appreciating the work. I actually said to her "it is so easy for a work like this to go wrong. It is quite interesting to see the abstract work and you know by looking at the abstract work that the person can actually paint, said Harry Brioche, who is an artist himself.

Local artist, Leon Radegonde, said that he looks forward to the exchanges and hopes to learn from Jacobs, knowledge that he can use in his own art.

The exhibition is part of a programme that Arterial Network Seychelles has put together for the next year and a half consisting of exhibitions which will be held every six weeks.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

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