venerdì 8 maggio 2015

56th Biennale Arte di Venezia: George Camille and Léon Radegonde - Seychelles Art Projects Foundation

A Clockwork Sunset

The Republique of Seychelles representation in this Biennale is an engagement exploring the identity of the Seychellois today. A monumental time given to the exposure of the artistic undercurrent. The archipelago is intrinsically associated with postcard views of palm tree lined sandy beaches and clockwork sunsets. What is rarely understood is the flip side, the text side of this postcard. 
The Seychelles history contains elements of troubled times guilefully cemented in the last decades under its luscious natural beauty. Lalyann Anvaisan (Creepers) a work by George Camille, b. 1963, explores the infrastructural demands brought on by the islands principle economic activity, tourism. These interests which are often conflicting with the responsibility of protecting the environment. With recent developments, the installation intends to reveal the fragile relationship between the economic and environmental policies presently implemented. This multi-media work uses materials which have been decommissioned, reclaimed and sourced locally from Seychelles. The visitor is placed within this conflict; the endgame leaving its stain. 
Post-Scriptum a series presented by Leon Radegonde, b.1950, extracts childhood memories, memorializes tarnished histories and weathers the tides of change. Petrol soaked clothes are seared, sewn, inscribed and laid to rest. Only one face of this multi-dimensional work will be exposed leaving the observer in the space between a displaced past with that of a forgotten future. To speculate one's future, one must understand one's history. The identity of the Seychelles is being redefined at great speeds. The often muted voices of its artists are shedding a new light to the richness and complexity of a culture. How will this sub-text now be played off with its clockwork sunsets? 
Sarah J. McDonald & Victor Schaub-Wong -

Biographies of the Curators 
Sarah J. McDonald, (American, lives and works in Raray, France) founded Incubator5066 + Hanger in 2007 to provide a bridge between underexposed artists with galleries and institutions. She curated the exhibition ‘La Salle d’Attente’ in 2013, presenting 3 artists in an abandoned farm house and garden. She is also the contemporary art consultant for the Tia Collection (private collection). In addition to constructing and acquiring for the Tia Collection, she is involved in placing the works in museums and institutions around world. 

Victor Schaub Wong, (American, lives and works in Paris, France) is creative director and partner at Fastboil, a multi-media communication agency. He studied and practiced architecture, but has devoted the last 20 years to helping others communicate better. He works across various sectors addressing issues of identity with his clients. He was co-founder of the “evansandwong” catalogue (1994-2000), an art and design catalogue of young artists and designers, providing them an outlet for exposure and to collectors. He is also a consultant to Incubator5066, founded by Sarah J. McDonald.

Biography Artists

George Camille
George Camille was born on the island of Mahe in 1963 and spent his childhood on the island of La Digue. Both are principal islands of the Seychelles.
From a young age, George took an immediate interest as a draftsman working in Charcoal & Pencil. His works developed into Watercolour, Gouache & Acrylic. He studied at Blackheath Collage of Art and Goldsmiths College, both in London.  
In 1987 he established Sunstroke Studio Seychelles which provided him with a means to continue his design activities and his fine art work. Later he restored an original wooden colonial house in Victoria which is named Kaz Zanana; A space which remains his main gallery in Mahe.  
George's most recent endeavors incorporate a wide range of materials and processes in the development and articulation of his personal visual mythology. Taking his cues from his native Seychelles landscapes, he has incorporated elements of ‘objet trouvé’ into mixed media work experimenting with metal, resin & relief work. Poetic and dark undertones in his conceptual makings, a soft chill runs deep under his sandy beaches.  
George has had solo & group exhibitions in Seychelles, Mauritius, Martinique, Reunion, UK France, Germany and Beijing, China.  
1986 Fine art - Blackheath College of Art, London
1993 3D design & sculptured textiles - Goldsmiths College, Londo

1986 British Council Scholarship in Fine Art to Blackheath College of Art, London.
1993 English Speaking Union Scholarship to Goldsmiths College, London for research in Textile Design.

Contact Information
Tel: +248 4344334
Address: Wavelength, Le Rocher, PO Box 237, Mahe, Seychelles 

Selected Solo Exhibitions  
2015 56th Venice Biennale, Seychelles Pavilion, Venice, Italy  
2011 “Coco de Mer” - Palmen Garten, Frankfurt, Germany  
2010 Images of Seychelles - IBF Exhibition Centre, .Hannover, Germany  
2008 “Volets d’une ile a L’autre” - Kephren Gallery, St Pierre, Reunion  
2007 “Volets d’une ile a L’autre” - Kaz Zanana Art Gallery, Victoria, Seychelles  
2006 “A Seychelles Journey” - Exhibition of paintings and assemblages. Red T Gallery 798 Dashanzi Art District. Beijing. P.R China  
2005 An Everyday Journey” - Exhibition of paintings and assemblages on Fregate Island,  
2005 “An Everyday Journey” - Exhibition of paintings and assemblages at Kaz Zanana Art Gallery, Victoria, Seychelles  
2004 “Les murmures du gecko” - Exhibition of recent paintings and etchings at L’Alliance Francaise. Port Louis, Mauritius  
2004 “The view from Within”- Exhibition of collages, paintings for 2nd Arts Festival at Kaz Zanana Art Gallery, Victoria, Seychelles  
2003 “La Foli Natir” - Exhibition of paintings and embossed copper for Seychelles Arts Festival.National Art Gallery, Victoria, Seychelles.  
2001 “Impressed” - Exhibition of embossed copper and paintings. Kephren Gallery, St Pierre, Reunion.  
2001 Paintings of Seychelles - Jardin Des Arts Gallery, St. Denis, Reunion  
1999 “En Leokri Kouler” - Kaz Zanana Art Gallery, Victoria, Seychelles  
1996 Solo Exhibition for Opening of Kaz Zanana Art Gallery

Selected Group Exhibitions

2015 “Ars et Natura” - Sala Margana, PiazzaVenezia, Rome
2014 “Seychelles Art” - Bernerie en Retz, France
2014 Travelling Group Exhibition of Seychellois art in Russia
2013 “Tablo lo Lekwater” - Exhibition for Creole Festival, Kaz Zanana, Victoria, Seychelles
2012 “Trait d’union” - Exhibition in memory of sculptor Bill Fehoko, St Denis. Reunion
2011 “Fanm” - Exhibition with Martin Kennedy and Mirza Moric, Kaz Zanana Gallery, Victoria, Seychelles
2010 Thapong Visual Art Centre - Gaberone, Botswana
2009 Gallery Sud - Zurich, Switzerland
2008 Exhibition By Seychellois Artists, Bruxelle, Belgium and Cercle Münster, Luxemburg
2007 InsulArt, pARTage, Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Moka, Mauritius
2005 “2nd Triennale of Contemporary Art” - Port Louis, Mauritius.
2002 “Le Jardin des Arts” - St Denis, Reunion.
2000 “Le Monde Creole” - Fort-de-France, Martinique.
1999 “Images of Seychelles” - Kiron Galleries, Paris, France.
1998 “My Island” - Seychelles High Commission, London, UK.
1996 12 Artists - Group Exhibition -National Gallery, Victoria, Seychelles
1992/ 1994/ 1996 Seychelles Biennial - Carnegie Hall, Victoria, Seychelles

Permanent Exhibitions

George Camille Gallery Kaz Zanana. Revolution Avenue – Victoria. Tel: (+248) 4325534
Sunstroke Gallery Market Street – Victoria. Tel: (+248) 4224767
George Camille Gallery Anse Gaulette – La Digue. Tel : (+248) 4234402

Léon Wilma Loïs Radegonde
Born in 1950. Lives and works in Victoria, Seychelles.
Léon was born in the Republique of Seychelles, on the island of La Digue, where he spent his childhood. He went on to study on the island of Mahé at the Seychelles College, after receiving a scholarship for secondary school.
His interest in art came when he was 17 years old. Since art was not on the school curriculum, he nurtured his curiosity through books, while practicing drawing and painting on his own. He sought advice and received encouragement from various people on the island. At 19 years old, he successfully completed his A-Level as well as O-Level studies in art.
In the years following, he traveled to Quebec, Canada to complete a degree in French, while taking evening classes in art. At 25, he went to the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK to train as a French teacher. The university also accepted his request to train as an art teacher, even though he had no advance art training.
At 26, for four years, he taught at the Teacher Training College. Following this period he received a scholarship to do formal art studies at the University of Hante, Bretagne, France for 2 years. Afterwards he returned to Teacher Training College as both a French and art teacher, where he remained for 12 years.
He returned to the Seychelles to work at the Cultural Ministry for 18 years, with his last post being the director of the Kreol Institute. All the time during his tenure, he practiced and exhibited his art, researching and experimenting with media and techniques.
In 1988, as chairman of the Association of Seychellois artists, he helped create the Biennale of Seychelles, dormant since 1996.
Since 2003, he has devoted his full attention to his art, as an “artiste-plasticien”. His works uses unconventional methods derived from found objects, material and images. Although the subject matter is deeply rooted in his identity and experience as a Seychellois, he looks to transcend national borders.
“I have recourse to the trivial, be it in terms of image, material or object, whether found or recreated, to create my own visual vocabulary and imagery. I also look to various forms of cultural sources, be they traditional, ancient or modern, for inspiration.”
“Historical and unconventional art references provide further guidelines and guidance. The work I would like to propose for the Venice Biennale will be an attempt to synthesize those various influences and sources, and to further document notions of time, age, and identity that are central to my work;”
Selected Exhibitions
2015 56th Venice Biennale, Seychelles Pavilion, Venice, Italy
2011 “One World”, solo exhibition, Munich, Germany
2009 “Modernity in African Art Today”, Pan African exhibition, Algiers, Algeria
2008 “Shades of black”, solo exhibition, Victoria, Seychelles  
2008 “Artist in Residence” exhibition, Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa
2006 “Salanm sorti ladig”, solo exhibition, Afronova Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
“Travay trouve”, solo exhibition, Victoria, Seychelles
2005 Carrefour des créateurs, Saint Denis, Réunion Island
2004 “Ré-union”, solo exhibition, Alliance Française, Victoria, Seychelles
2003 “San Tit”, solo exhibition, Alliance Française, Victoria, Seychelles
1996 “Desen Portre”, solo exhibition, National Art Gallery, Victoria, Seychelles
1994 4th Biennale of Seychelles, Victoria, Seychelles
1992 3rd Biennale of Seychelles, Victoria, Seychelles
1991 “Creole Impressions”, Plantation Club, Seychelles
7th Triennale of India, New Delhi, India
1990 2nd Biennale of Seychelles, Victoria, Seychelles
1988 “Drawings and Collages”, solo exhibition, Carnegie, Victoria, Seychelles
1st Biennale of Seychelles, Victoria, Seychelles
Exposition régionale, Musée Léon-Dierx, Saint Denis, Réunion Island
1986 2nd Biennale of Havana, Wifredo Lam Centre, Cuba
Seychelles Week in Greece, Athens, Greece
“The Seychelles and its Painters”, Altana Gallery, Hamburg, Germany
1978 Group show, Grand Palais, Paris France
Contact Information Tel: +248 4241166

 A dream come true after 30 years - (Today Seychelles)
Artists George Camille and Léon Radegonde have been chosen to represent Seychelles at the upcoming art exhibition of the 56th Biennale di Venezia, which opens on 9 May and closes on 22 November 2015.

Two artists from Seychelles George Camille and Léon Radegonde have been chosen to represent the country at the forthcoming art exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia in Italy in early May this year.

The decision was finalized by two independent curators from France – Sarah J. McDonald, curator of TIA Collection and Victor Schaub Wong, creative director of FASTBOIL, who announced their choice on Monday at the head office of the National Arts Council (NAC).
The other delegates who attended the conference were the NAC chief executive officer Jimmy Savy and media consultant and administrator of Seychelles Art Project Foundation, Ilaria Isola.

Last year in December, the Seychelles Art Project Foundation (SAP) launched the Biennale di Venezia project and asked local artists to participate. Seven artists submitted their concepts. The enrolment was open until end of January 2015.
TODAY in Seychelles spoke to the curator of TIA Collection Sarah J. McDonald who said that they “had the opportunity to meet all the artists individually in order to discuss and evaluate their work. We were very impressed with the work of all the artists.”

“We asked them to include their identity as well as their past in their work and it was a heavy concept for most of the artists. The final results were amazing and it was also good to see the fraternity that existed among the artists. We are happy with our results for this year’s Venice Biennale Art Exhibition,” she said.

Commenting on the Venice Biennale Art Exhibition, Ms. McDonald said that, “the Venice Biennale showcases conceptual and contemporary arts. To be chosen to participate in the art exhibition, the local artists should show a level of maturity both intellectually and practically. We will be having another Biennale in two years and I advise the Seychellois artists to start working towards this goal.”

“Our job as curators is to rewrite the stories of the artists. For me it is about history and it is not an art fair or a gallery,” added Ms. McDonald.
For his part, creative director of FASTBOIL, Victor Wong remarked; “When I knew that we had to select two artists from Seychelles, I became quite concerned before arriving. I then sought to find out more about art in Seychelles on the websites and saw that it was all tourist related materials and works. But when I met the artists, I saw the actual potential of their work and concept. It was another dimension.”

TODAY in Seychelles caught up with both artists George Camille and Léon Radegonde who said that it was a dream come true for them after 30 years of hard work. It is the first time that the two artists will display their work at the Biennale di Venezia.

“I am so excited about the Venice Biennale as it is a big challenge for me. This is a great opportunity for me to show my work and concept to the world. The project for the Biennale is out of my comfort zone so I need to work very hard to make a difference. My project has a message about the environment,” said Mr. Camille.

“In the past, Seychelles tried to take part in previous Biennales but it did not happen due to lack of funds. But this year we got the support of the Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St. Ange, the government and sponsors from private business companies.
On the same note, the Dutch artist Rene Rietmeyer has sponsored the space for Seychelles at the art exhibition,” added Mr. Camille.

On the other hand artist Léon Radegonde couldn’t hold his tears and emotions upon hearing that he was selected. “I have always visited the Venice Biennale as a tourist. For the last three years, I have been preparing to put up a solo exhibition which is quite hard and tough. The curators saw my work and they were impressed with my concept,” said Mr. Radegonde.
“I like to create and work on discarded, recycled found objects, which gives another concept to my art. I am dedicating this nomination which will allow me to take part in the Venice Biennale to the people of La Digue. This is where I come from and that is what I want to show in the Biennale,” added Mr. Radegonde.

The chief executive officer of NAC Jimmy Savy congratulated and wished good luck to both the artists.

The Seychelles Art Projects (SAP) Foundation was launched on 12 December 2014, an initiative of a group of Seychellois artists. The main aim of the SAP Foundation is to promote the creation, diversification and exhibition of Seychellois Contemporary art internationally through various projects.
“The first major project for the Foundation is the participation of Seychelles at the 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia in May 2015, the world's leading contemporary art event, where all major nations are represented. Both artists will be working together to represent Seychelles,” said Ilaria Isola.

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