The Arterial Network Seychelles re-opened its doors to the public last weekend in a new space, exhibiting and selling the work of 27 local artists under a themed exhibition on the South-East Monsoon.
The re-opening and relocating come after a temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michelle Morden, the gallery manager, told SNA that the network had to close its doors in the previous space “as we could not go on with the expensive venue when there was no income and no clients.”
She said that it closed temporarily and then as life returned closer to normal, the Arterial Network committee decided to reopen.
“We reopened in a smaller gallery, except that now we have a new professional hanging system that allows us to be a lot more flexible with space. The space doesn’t feel too impersonal, and it has a nice vibe to it,” said Morden.
On his side, Arterial Seychelles chairman, Martin Kennedy, said that “we have started with a soft open, initially only selling books and postcards, however we now have a full exhibition of fabulous, previously unseen works by both established artists and younger, emerging talents.”
He outlined that artists have been unable to exhibit and sell their work during the pandemic due to the closure of the original gallery and the absence of tourists – who are among the largest group of buyers.
Art lovers can visit the gallery at its new location opposite the ‘Giraffe’ book shop from Monday to Friday between 10 am to 6 pm, and on Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm.
The gallery reopened with the annual ‘Vannswet’ exhibition, which began on July 5 and is expected to close on August 30. ‘Vannswet’, the Creole word for the South-East Monsoon, is a time in Seychelles when it is very windy and the waters are choppy.
Kennedy said that artists have been unable to exhibit and sell their work during the pandemic due to the closure of the original gallery. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY
This group show features new work from James Agricole, Sheila Markham, Zsaklin Miklós, Frances Chang Him, and Martin Kennedy, among other artists, featuring paintings, photographs and sculptures. Prices vary and start at SCR3,990 ($247).
Talking about changes in the exhibition this year, Morden outlined that there was a sway in opinions for this year’s exhibition.
“We debated on whether we were going to stick absolutely by this theme or whether it is just artworks we are showing in this season. Are we interpreting it as the season we are showing in or if this is what the pieces should be about? We decided to do both because things have not been normal,” she said.
Morden further added that this year’s exhibition might have been affected by the fact that not all artists have been producing artwork during the pandemic period.
“COVID-19 has affected people in different ways – it has affected what they produce, how they feel personally, and it has affected their ability to produce. I am looking forward to increasing their confidence in producing again and see value in what they do,” she added.