Visitors to the islands of Seychelles now have a wider choice and access to local artworks at affordable prices with the opening of a new gallery at the Domaine Val de Pres, arts and craft village, Au Cap, on Mahe Island.
Located in the beautiful ‘Grann Kaz’ plantation house – a large wooden house dating back to 1870 from the British colonial period – the gallery showcases the best of local paintings and craftworks.
“The opening of the gallery shows the government’s commitment to not only protect and preserve our artistic and cultural assets but also to promote sustainable cultural tourism,” said the executive director of the Seychelles National Heritage Resource Council (SNHRC), Benjamine Rose.
The gallery is a joint initiative between the council and Creative Seychelles Agency(CSA). Rose added that the combined project will provide opportunities to valorise, appreciate and value our artistic and cultural assets through innovative, creative products and services”.
“The aim is to provide visitors with a gallery where they can buy affordable artwork because this is a low-end gallery. We are not selling artwork above SCR25,000 [$1,900],” explained the CSA chief executive, Emmanuel D’Offay.
According to D’Offay, Domaine de Val des Pres attracts a hundred or more visitors daily during peak season and the plan is to work alongside the council to develop the venue. The Domaine de Val des Pres gallery is a commercial gallery and all artworks are for sale.
“I think more should be done to offer visitors to Praslin more attractions like they are doing on Mahe, as Praslin does receive many tourists, probably more than Mahe,” said Maria Brioche of Praslin.
Speaking to SNA, Brioche explained that on Praslin there is only one privately owned gallery selling mainly paintings and a privately owned museum, showcasing Seychelles’ heritage and history as well as art.
“I think the Creative Agency should seek ways and offer artists, not only from Praslin to get a place to promote, market, and sell their artworks, just like what has been done at the Domaine Val de Pres,” concluded Brioche.