Art exhibition lures cultural tourists to Seychelles


MAHE, Seychelles – The association, Ars et Natura Seychelles; Seychelles Art Projects Foundation; Seychelles Tourism Board (STB); and Arterial Network Seychelles are collaborating to promote an art-science project for the preservation of the natural environment of the Seychelles. The exhibition of Italian and Creole artists will be open from July 23 to August 31, 2015 at George Camilles’ Kaz Zanana Art Gallery. George is the Seychellois artist involved in the project.

The opening of the exhibition “Ars et Natura Seychelles” will take place on Thursday, July 23 at 6 pm. The elegant Kaz Zanana Art Gallery will host the paintings of Italian and Creole artists who want to make the public aware of the biodiversity of Seychelles. The exhibition will be open until August 31 and will enable tourists and residents to interact with important concepts and ideas concerning specific aspects of the country’s natural heritage: forests, beaches, mangroves, mountains, waters, and coral reefs being examples, and to get an overview of the environment – its attributes and threats. Art pieces will also explore issues around endemic and rare species, including human activities and the typical customs of each island.

In the presence of the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange; the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Naiken; the artist George Camille; the head of the group Ars et Natura Alessandro Troisi; a delegation of Italian artists; the British artist, Anne Shingleton; the Italian Consul, Claudio Izzi; and other dignitaries and special guests, the exhibition will be inaugurated with a brief description of the project, which will be followed by the tasting of Italian wines and cheese.

The sponsors and organizers, Ars et Natura, Seychelles Art Projects Foundation, Arterial Network Seychelles, the Seychelles Tourism Board, and Ethiopian Airlines will present the exhibition’s catalogue, a valuable illustrated book called “Seychelles – Ars et Natura’s project for the Archipelago’s Biodiversity” – PANDION & WILDART Studio publishers, which includes reproductions of more than 200 works created by the group of artists, with descriptive and scientific texts in English and French. Introductions are written by STB, the Italian Consulate in the Seychelles, and Ethiopian Airlines. All studies, sketches, and paintings of the artists are annotated and by the same. Part of the proceeds from the sale of each book will be used to support Nature Seychelles and the conservation work done on the protected Cousin Island. This is the choice of the artists and naturalists of Ars et Natura and is in line with their mission and passion for nature protection.

George Camille, head of the Creole artists, will add value to the exhibition and to the already varied and colorful work created by the Italian artists, coordinated and led by Alessandro Troisi, who is responsible for the Ars et Natura project Seychelles. The exhibition will also display the works of the English artist, Anne Shingleton, who has been living in Italy for many years and has now joined the Seychellois-Italian group.

Thanks to the organization and contribution of the Seychelles Tourism Board, 17 Italian artists visited and illustrated the natural wonders and the rich biodiversity of the tropical islands. A 15-day trip allowed the Italian artists to travel to the various islands, meet local artists, and reside in important areas for the conservation of nature, starting from Cousin Island to the Valle de Mai, a UNESCO site, and thus represent all the natural species of flora and fauna; endemic areas; and city markets, museums, botanical gardens, and local festivals. The artists will present their work in this exhibition through notebooks, watercolors, oils, pencils, mixed media, and sculptures, in order to give the most varied and complete overview of their experiences. The group of Italian artists consists of painters, illustrators, and Italian naturalists from all parts of Italy, of all ages and various origins and backgrounds, with a common passion for nature, art, and the pleasure of painting en plein air. They are: Carla Bernardi, Carlo Castellani, Marina Cremonini, Daniela Di Tonno, Lorenzo Dotti, Maria Elena Ferrari, Concetta Flore, Federico Gemma, Luca Marini, Giovanni Ragone, Iole Eulalia Rosa, Anne Shingleton, Alessandro Troisi, and Patrizia Vistola. The exhibition is completed with the works of the Creole artists George Camille and Camille Mondon.

The STB Italy and the Association Ars et Natura project have a worldwide resonance because of overt connections with notable international conservation organizations such as World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Birdlife International. The project is also fully in line with the promotion strategies of the Seychelles Tourism Board, which intends to affirm worldwide the image of Seychelles as a unique place for its sublime environment.

This exhibition is the second of a series of presentations. After the success of the well-attended exhibition in Rome in January 2015, the exhibition will tour across European venues.

Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .