CLEAR – Final Show of the Series of UP!Project on Praslin until End of the Year

CLEAR – Final Show of the Series of UP!Project on Praslin until End of the Year

The recently opened exhibition of artwork, entitled CLEAR and on show at the Vijay International School Praslin until the end of the year, is the final show in a series of environmentally focused art installations organised by Seychelles Art Foundation. Prior exhibitions have included huge sculptures created from recycled waste, giant metal birds and the creation of one of the largest and finest murals realised to date, this one having been developed within the theme of oceanic preservation. The projects, collectively titles ‘UP!’, also saw the main bus station in Victoria festooned with an installation of giant washing lines.

All of the individual installations have been inspired by concerns about the environment, global warming and other manifestations of planet degradation caused by human beings. A number of notable Seychellois artists oversaw the creation of the installations, including George Camille, Charles Dodo, Jude Ally and Dylan Owen.

The CLEAR exhibition is no exception to the overall pro environmental theme and, in common with the other projects, CLEAR has involved young people in the creation of the work on display. Martin Kennedy, the artist who coordinated CLEAR stated “very often we adults neglect to consider environmental issues as much as we should. Life is busy and demanding and it’s easy to overlook problems such as single use plastic which affect us all on a daily basis. People become exhausted by the barrage of expert opinion which reminds them of these very real threats to the environment.

They switch off. However, when children speak, adults listen. We listen to our own children and those of others. Globally the voice of the young – who after all have the most to lose from the continued abuse of the planet – is being increasingly listened to by politicians and, more importantly, voters.”

We asked about the title of this exhibition and were told that CLEAR refers to the visual quality of most single use plastic – the kind used for bottled water for example. CLEAR also refers to the evident and obvious fact that the continued use of such plastics poses huge threats to both land and sea environments.

CLEAR began with a collaboration between the Vijay International School Praslin led by Mark Howell the Headteacher, Seychelles Art Foundation – specifically funded by the GEF Small Grants Programme, environmentalist Marie-Therese Purvis and Martin Kennedy.

CLEAR workshops took place over a two-day period and involved children from Years 4 and 6 (2018/19 academic year). Following these workshops, led by Kennedy and Purvis, the children were encouraged to write their own thoughts about single use plastics. Later they posed for photographs with plastic which they had collected and brought into school. The final art works combine the image of the child with a short extract from his/her writing, printed both in his/her handwriting and, beneath the image, in normal print text. It was decided to print selected images large scale for maximum impact.
Nine images were selected to be printed full size, which are exhibited in the school’s Ellen Hall, along with smaller prints of the other photographs from the sessions.

The children’s work will shortly be incorporated into an education pack which will feature the entire UP! Project and which will be distributed to all state and private sector schools in Seychelles. This pack will include classroom activities which children in upper primary classes can engage with.

Use hashtags #UpSeychelles #CLEAR to spread the world and share this amazing installation!

About SAF:
Seychelles Art Foundation (SAF), formerly Seychelles Art Projects Foundation, was established by a group of Seychellois artists prior to the first national participation at the Venice Biennale (2015 edition), since then SAF has established itself as a body capable of delivering project outcomes at the highest international and domestic level.  SAF’s mission is to enhance the quality, status and development of the visual arts in the Seychelles. SAF devises, designs, funds and delivers a range of art events and activities which involves and impacts upon various Seychelles communities.

About UP! Seychelles Project:
The title of the project ‘UP!’ refers to ‘increase’, as encapsulated within the principal aims of the project – to increase environmental awareness; to increase environmental good practice; to increase local capacity to underwrite sustainability of achievements; and to involve and empower the Seychelles community, specifically – though not exclusively – the community of cultural actors. The project is about the creation and installation of major public art works – notably sculpture, installations, murals and video – all site specific and located to deliver maximum exposure for educational, aesthetic and motivational messages concerning environmental sustainability in Seychelles. The project is funded by the GEF Small Grants Programme.

For further information, please contact
Ms. Shirley YU / Mr. Martin Kennedy

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