“Dream Gallery”: New art space in Seychelles offers affordable art to wider audience
A new gallery offering limited edition prints and affordable art of five local artists has opened its doors to the public on the outskirts of the Seychelles’ capital, Victoria.
The opening of the ‘Dream Gallery’ on July 1 was attended by President Wavel Ramkalawan as well as many artists and art lovers.
The art space is a collaboration between the owner of a framing studio, Tamara Maurel, and five local artists – Alyssa Adams, her brother Tristan Adams, Isham Rath, Laurent Alis and Peter Lalande.
President Wavel Ramkalawan as well as many artists and art lovers attended the opening of the gallery. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Maurel, who is the founder of KeyFrame Seychelles, told the press during the opening ceremony that it has always been a dream of hers to bring local artworks to the general public and visitors to the country at a lower cost.
“The idea originally started with wanting to make local artists’ work a little bit more affordable so that the average working person can really come in, appreciate local art, and hang it on their wall for a much lower cost. That idea grew into opening a gallery and a collaboration with five artists in this space,” said Maurel.
With both the gallery and the framing studio located at Roche Caiman on Mahe Island in a new building, Maurel also said that having the two next to each other brings a great advantage.
“It is easy for people to come and choose a frame alongside their artwork so it is a one-stop-shop when it comes to buying local art and for getting it framed,” she said.
One of the artists whose art will be permanently exhibited at Dream Gallery, Alyssa Adams, said that she always wanted to showcase her work in a space closer to the capital and Maurel’s offer to join the collaboration was irresistible.
“At Anse aux Poules Bleues [south Mahe] where our family gallery is located, there isn’t much interaction with other artists. Showcasing my work with a mixture of other artists allows you to be a part of a community and I love that. Having a framing shop next to the gallery is perfect and it allows us to come together, help each other and create something different,” said Adams.
During the short opening ceremony, exhibiting artists got to share with invitees the idea behind their artwork. Lalande, a historian-turned-cartoonist, came with a collection he calls ‘Zenerasyon Mayok’, which is his Creole word play for the old school generation.
Lalande, a historian-turned-cartoonist, came with a collection he calls ‘Zenerasyon Mayok’. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
“This collection only features the older generation of fishermen, as this year is the year of artisanal fishing and as such, I wanted a collection that touches these older fishermen. I drew them using a technique I call jazz that I have been developing for a long time now, where I play with exaggerated movements and lines,” he explained.
Talking about the collaboration, Lalande shared that this is something positive as “normally, artists are always doing their own things, however, when you have a group of artists with different techniques and backgrounds come together shows that art is a powerful medium. I feel it will be successful. It does not only tell stories and information but it also brings together people.”
Isham Rath, who is also a well-known singer in Seychelles and a member of the Mozaik group, said that his artworks were inspired by the first drawing contract that he got from Denis Island, where he was asked to draw their birds’ checklist.
Rath’s artworks were inspired by the first drawing contract that he got from Denis Island. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
“That is what got me fascinated with birds. These are sketches done with a pen with some being prints of the originals. Depending on the client, I prefer to work with a pen as it gets the job done faster. The downside is that once you make a mistake you have to start over. With a pencil, it will take more time but you can erase mistakes,” he added.