An exhibition entitled ‘Ars et Natura Seychelles’ aiming to bring more awareness on the biodiversity of Seychelles was officially opened yesterday by the country’s Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange.
The opening ceremony was held at the Kaz Zanana Art Gallery in Victoria and was attended by principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune, chief executive of the National Arts Council Jimmy Savy, local and foreign artists.
The Ars et Natura Seychelles exhibition is also aimed at giving tourists and residents the chance to interact with important concepts and ideas concerning specific aspects of our natural heritage: forests, beaches, mangroves, mountains, waters and coral reefs being examples, and to get an overview of the environment – its attributes and threats.
Art pieces will also explore issues around endemic and rare species, including human activities and the typical customs of each island.
An art-science project for the preservation of the natural environment of our country is being promoted by the Association Ars et Natura, Seychelles Arts Projects Foundation, the Seychelles Tourism Board and Arterial Network Seychelles, and this exhibition forms part of this project.
This travelling ‘Ars et Natura Seychelles’ exhibition started in Rome in January and will be in Seychelles until the end of August.
Speaking at the event, local artist who is involved in this project George Camille said he is honoured to be part of this project and has commended the excellent support being received from various partners such as the Seychelles Tourism Board, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Seychelles Art Projects Foundation, Arterial Network and the Ethiopian Airlines.
He added that looking at the paintings being exhibited in the gallery, one will see that the artists’ souls and minds have truly been at work.
Minister St.Ange echoed words of thanks to the artists who are part of this project, adding that through these paintings, the beauty of our islands are well-represented.
“We must feel proud of Seychelles as the paintings truly show our islands as pristine as they are,” he said.
It is our culture that differentiates us from other destinations and our natural beauty is part of this, he added.
The Italian artists involved in this project, visited several islands, met local artists and illustrated the natural wonders and the biodiversity of Seychelles.
Among the places visited were Cousin island and the Vallee de Mai, which is home to the world’s biggest nut and the endemic Black Parrot.
The Ars et Natura Seychelles exhibition is expected to tour other European cities. During the ceremony,Minister St.Ange was presented with the exhibition’s catalogue.
The head of the group Ars et Natura Alessandro Troisi, a delegation of Italian artists, British artist Anne Shingleton, the Italian Consul Claudio Izzi, local artists were also present for this auspicious occasion. Before Seychelles the exhibition was in Rome and after the Seychelles it will be heading to London and Paris.