Seychelles' Best Contemporary Artists and Where to See Their Work

Roundabout VII by Michael Adams 2016. | ©Michael Adams. Used with permission
Roundabout VII by Michael Adams 2016. | ©Michael Adams. Used with permission
Photo of Chantelle Howell
3 February 2017

The art being created in Seychelles is much more than the scenes of white sandy beaches and the Vallee de Mai you see in tourist shops. While contemporary artists of course have to meet demands of their clientele, predominantly tourists, there is certainly a change in the type of art being created here. These days, there is a real collection of fantastic artists and art happening in Seychelles. Meet some of Seychelles’ best contemporary artists.

Michael Adams

Michael Adams is without doubt the most famous artist in Seychelles. He was not actually born in Seychelles, but has been living and working as an artist for more than four decades – having already established himself as a successful artist.

Le Jardin Du Roi. © Michael Adams

Le Jardin Du Roi by Michael Adams | Courtesy of Michael Adams

His work can perhaps be best defined as a mixture of realism, symbolism and abstraction.

He holds permanent exhibitions in Barbados, Mauritius, South Carolina, USA and Germany. You can also find his work in numerous hotels across Seychelles.

Roundabout VII by Michael Adams 2016. ©Michael Adams. Used with permission

Roundabout VII by Michael Adams 2016 |Courtesy of Michael Adams

Michael’s studio, which also happens to be his house, can be found at Anse Aux Poules Bleues (yep, that does mean ‘bay of the blue chickens’!) on the south coast of Mahé. It is recognised as the first art studio to have opened in Seychelles.

Michael Adams Studio, Anse Aux Poules Bleues, Mahe, Seychelles. +248 4361006

George Camille

A well-loved Seychellois artist, George Camille creates his art with different methods including painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture assemblage and installation.

George’s work is full of symbolism inspired by the Seychelles, particularly nature. You can often find a fusion of man and gecko, fish and leaves etc.

He has exhibited in places across the Indian Ocean as well as in Europe. Perhaps, most notably at the Venice Biennale where, along with Léon Radegonde (see below), was the first Seychellois artist to exhibit at the Venice Biennale – one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world.

Interruption by George Camille. Park of the shutter door collection. © George Camille used with permission

Interruption by George Camille. Part of the shutter door collection | Courtesy of George Camille

George, like some of his contemporaries, is starting to introduce social and environmental issues into his work, while still continuing to celebrate the positives of Seychelles life.

The Kiss by George Camille. ©George Camille

The Kiss by George Camille | Courtesy of George Camille

One of his more famous collections was the work he did with old shutter doors. He collected the doors from old Creole houses and added to their already distressed feel. He then added embossed copper with his signature symbols and patterns. The doors symbolised a past Seychellois life.

Venice Biennale, Ca’ Giustinian, San Marco 1364/A30124, Venezia, Italy. +39 041 5218711

Léon Radegonde

Léon Radegonde is a Seychellois artist who definitely steps outside of what you might consider ‘typical’ for Seychelles art. His work centres around ‘found objects’. Typically, it is paper, cloth or burlap, although he has also done some sculpture work.

Léon’s pieces range through all sizes. The themes for his art focuses on the history of Seychelles and the old ways of Seychellois life – typically the time of his childhood in the 1950s and 60s. Much of his work has a dark undertone to them, so don’t expect any beaches, fishing or palm trees in his works.

Untitled by Leon Radegonde. ©Leon Radegonde used with permission

Untitled by Léon Radegonde | Courtesy of Léon Radegonde

Transforming his found objects into something that appears to have been aged or damaged with time, is a trademark of Léon’s. When you see something of his, it feels like you are truly looking at an historical artefact.

Much of his work will also include faces, whether literally in the form of a photograph, or implied.

Léon does not have his own gallery, through this is by his own choice as opposed to lack of demand. His studio is at his home on Mahé. However, you can find some of his work at the Passerose Gallery on Praslin. He has acquired a large following in Europe, particularly in Germany.

Passerose Gallery, Praslin, Seychelles +248 2594949

Untitled by Leon Radegonde 2016. Mixed media on burlap on wood. ©Leon Radegonde used with permission

Untitled by Léon Radegonde 2016. Mixed media on burlap on wood | Courtesy of Léon Radegonde

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