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FetAfrik 2015, the day Seychelles marks Africa Day, this year explores artistic achievements of Seychellois and African artists

FetAfrik 2015, the day Seychelles marks Africa Day, this year explores artistic achievements of Seychellois and African artists ( The exceptional beauty, diversity, and contemporary relevance of Africa’s art were admired at the National Arts Gallery to mark FetAfrik 2015. The Afrikart exhibition opened on May 21, the eve of FetAfrik’s official opening, embodied with works of five artists from different generations, horizons, and techniques.

Afrikart is the first major exhibition in Seychelles to explore the evolving ways in which African artists express their artistic strength through their personal techniques.

The Afrikart exhibition was opened by the Chief Executive of the National Arts Council, Jimmy Savy.

Semi-abstract paintings of Jude Ally, combined with Urny Mathiot’s surrealism techniques and Christine Chetty Payet’s symbolic art, were being exhibited for those passionate about arts to view.

Christine Chetty Payet, the master of patchwork, had this time tried to divert her language of art to something different. Footprints carved within her patch works clearly demonstrated her intention of incorporating symbol in her work.

Jude Ally’s acrylic mixed with clue artwork combine realism and illustration to create a technique of semi-abstract. Urny Mathiot on the other hand followed the path of great artist Michelangelo of surrealism techniques.

The star of the moment was Chansa Chishimba, a sculptor, textile designer, and painter from Zambia. Like all artists, Chansa Chishimba initially worked on paper and canvas. But unlike other artists, Chansa Chishimba developed a one of a kind technique turning abstract into realism on papaya tree bark fiber.

In his work Chansa Chishimba combined graphic and pattern. Akakakashana Akapya, one of his masterpieces brought to Seychelles, gained much admiration and credits from professionals and well-established artists in the country. Akakakashana Akapya, an illustration of Chansa’s techniques on papaya tree bark fiber contains symbols of baobab, snakes, and colors of red, black, and white. These colors and symbols are Chansa Chishimba interpretations of life in his environment. He said although colors are universal symbols, there are colors that remain unique to his country. ‘’Colors have different interpretations to different people. It’s a way of communicating to others and reaching out to people’s feelings,” Chansa said, adding that the use of symbol and movement in his artworks have meaning to his country. “Life without movement is still,” he added.

Chansa technique on papaya tree bark fiber had been acclaimed in Zambia and European countries such as Germany and Sweden where he has exhibited his artworks. This new technique in Seychelles is sure to inspire artists to adopt new ones. Chansa artwork was one among 10 artworks produced by other Zambian artists such as those exhibited by Lawrence Yombe.

Officially opening the exhibition, Mr. Savy said the participation of foreign artists in the exhibition will cultivate the use of sharing ideas and expertise. He added that arts is a manifestation of culture.

“Artists are often seen as individuals who simply create for pleasure or visual appreciation. Yet few of us realize that the arts are a manifestation of culture – culture being an expression of the way we live; and the way we are; and the beliefs, customs, and especially the values, that we hold sacred as Seychellois, or for that matter, in all other cultures,” he said.

PHOTO (Bottom, L-R): Christine Chetty Payet, Chansa Chishimba, Urny Mathiot&Jude Ally


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