The CEO of the National Arts Council and Byenal Sesel Commissioner Jimmy Savy has confirmed that the 2020 edition of the contemporary art exhibition will take place in April of that year and will, for the first time, see art works created by both Seychelles and international artists exhibited on all three principal islands of the Seychelles.

An ‘Open Call’ has been made, encouraging local artists to apply to participate in the Biennale by responding to the theme for the 2020 exhibition – ‘LOST AND FOUND’. Artists are invited to submit their proposals for the creation of work in any medium. Mr. Savy commented that “at the last Seychelles Biennale we saw the majority of artists creating installations, some constructed around large paintings or videos, with others using found objects and sculptural forms. We encourage artists to interpret our very open theme in any way that they choose and I am certain that we will see a dynamic fusion of Seychelles and international art next year.”

The theme was selected from seven proposals made by the curator, who provided further aspects of ‘Lost and Found’ as a starting point for the creation of art: “Human history is crammed with lost and found scenarios, with entire nations and empires dissolving and then redefining themselves within changed political or economic contexts. Evolution has its own credit and debit sheet, as species fall away and others flourish. Lost and Found will include works of art which are concerned with the precarious nature of 21st century existence. Through the art works presented we will share stories and experiences, as well as propose ways of dealing with loss alongside strategies for recovery – either within a physical or emotional context. The theme also offers the opportunity for artists to question the increasingly complex and demanding technology-driven world in which we now live and to ask what has been lost as a consequence.”

Biennale prizes will be awarded by a team of international judges chaired by the winner of the last Byenal Sesel, George Camille. The winning artist will not only receive a substantial cash prize but also be appointed as chief judge at the next Byenal Seychelles. Other prizes will also be awarded, including one which recognises outstanding talent in a young Seychellois artist.

The last Seychelles Biennale, held in 2017, presented the work of 20 artists, with just over half being Seychellois or resident in Seychelles. A similar mix is envisaged for next year’s show, providing the opportunity for fertile collaboration and exchange of ideas between the two creative cohorts. “This is an important national cultural event” Mr. Savy stated. “The Biennale provides us with a clear indication of the visual art landscape both at home and overseas and although our Biennale will be comparatively modest in size we are determined that the work on display will meet the highest international standards, provoking debate and reflection as well as entertaining and enlightening viewers.”

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