Up Close … with local artist Colbert Nourrice-‘When I focus on my art, it’s with passion’


Was I ever really that tiny? I thought watching some pre-schoolers race down a corridor, bumping into each other and laughing as they did. Up the stairs I went, following local artist and chairman of Pro Art, Colbert Nourrice, to his work sanctuary – the art room.

Colbert looked at me for a second before extending his hand. His grip was firm and his face broke into a warm smile reaching to his bluish-green eyes.

“Shall we?” he said, leading the way into one of the largest art rooms I have seen of late. The chairs stood out. A rainbow of colours against a backdrop of easels and what I assumed to be a sculpture of sorts. The wall to my left let in blue, yellow, green, red and orange sunlight from glass cubes carefully inserted into it. I almost forgot I was there for an interview as I stared in awe.

A clearing of the throat and I was back in the present, ready to hear what Colbert had to say. He began with a laugh, obviously aware of my indiscreet spacing out.


“As a child I always loved drawing and it was one of my favourite things to do at school,” he said.
“After attending the National Youth Service (NYS) I kept going with my art and took up art and design for three years at the Seychelles Polytechnic.”

This was a starting point in Colbert’s life. After his initial dabbling in the arts, he decided to get more serious about the subject.

“After a few drawings and pieces of work, I had no idea where I stood or which type of art I wanted to do,” he said, musing for a minute or so.

Evolution into art

Colbert persisted however and soon after had enrolled at the University of Sussex to study for a Bachelor of Education in Art.

“I remember thinking of art as a sort of hobby at the time and not really something I had been considering long term. Now, however, I am more sensitive to its call. If I see a piece of art work, it touches me deeply, I feel strongly about it and now when I concentrate on my art, it’s with passion.”

Colbert says he likes all forms of art.
“I enjoy looking at semi abstract and abstract art – anything really I suppose but I prefer work with well-placed colours which aren’t too garish,” he said.

On work

Colbert has been working as an Arts teacher at the International School for a little over nine years and says he loves his job.

“I’ve seen a lot of talent since I’ve been here and being able to teach art in such an environment has re-awakened my senses, so to speak.”
Colbert nodded as if to himself.

“I have definitely discovered a lot of new things from the kids and many of them have inspired new ideas for my own work,” he smiled.

“Unfortunately, a lot of them have to go after. They go back to their respective countries Colbert Nourriceand even those who stay behind decide not to pursue fine art but develop as interior designers or architectural artists. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it would just be nice to see more people in fine arts.”


Most people get the impression artists are naturally unstressed because of the type of work they do.

“I get tired at times,” said Colbert laughing. “I need some relax time you know. I enjoy listening to music – classical and jazz. Well, mostly jazz. The sound is powerful and the communication between the instruments is just divine. I suppose you could say it’s art,” he said, flashing a wry smile.

“I also like to relax by playing basketball.  I used to play often but now all I can manage is shooting a few hoops when I have the time. It’s good for staying healthy. I also go for a jog when I can or just hang out with other artists from Pro Art to discuss our ideas and plans,” he said.

The future

Colbert says right now exhibitions are his priority.
“They’re a good excuse to work harder,” he laughed. “Plus, you know, people get to see your work.

 I remember I used to focus solely on international exhibitions at one point but then I realised it cost a lot to maintain that kind of lifestyle. I haven’t totally given up on the idea yet and I have had some opportunities at exhibiting my work or attending fellow artists’ work abroad (India, Spain, Vienna and France to name a few) but for now I think I’ll concentrate on filling our local galleries,” he said smiling.
“That’s not to say I wouldn’t want a big international solo one day. It’s many an artist’s dream.”

Advice to the youth

If you think you’ve got art running through your veins instead of blood, Colbert’s suggestion is to simply do it.

“Oh yeh,” he said flipping his hand nonchalantly in the air. “Grab some paper and materials. That’s all you have to do – then draw or paint. Just keep going until you have a large enough collection and then put it where people can see and buy. It’s not an exhibition but it’s a start.”

by Rebecca Belle

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