Martin Kennedy launches new book | 15 December 2020
A new book entitled ‘The Million Petalled Flower of Being Here’ by Martin Kennedy was officially launched yesterday.
The book – comprising a mixture of photographs, collages and paintings – was launched in a brief but significant ceremony at the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design (Siad) at Anse Royale.
The ceremony was attended by the principal secretary for culture, Cécile Kalebi; the director of the National Arts and Culture Fund (SNACF), Sybil Labrosse; among other guests.
The title of the book comes from a poem written in 1973 by the English poet Philip Larkin, ‘The Old Fools.’
The book is a 240-page collection of images that will inform particularly young people, students and rising artists and invoke conversations about how photography interacts with a range of different subjects.
The author gave those present a brief description of the contents and intent of his book which is divided into six sections: the Red Tree – paintings and mixed media pieces; Walls – Guatemala and elsewhere; Spaceships descending – This is all true; Straight Edges – photographs; Horse Science – Altered photographs and Die Karawane – A short film.
Mr Kennedy thanked the NACF, especially PS Kalebi and Ms Labrosse, for their support and collaboration in his project.
He explained that the book is a mixture of photographs, collages and paintings that create new “hybrid images” which he hopes will be viewed as a collection of starting points that people can apply to their own work.
On behalf of the NACF, PS Kalebi called upon the youth of Seychelles to bring forth their artistic projects, so that they may collaborate and materialise them. She also encouraged the youth to develop their talents and ideas as the department of culture is ready and keen to support their innovative ideas.
“Art is forever growing, it is not static. This is why we were enthusiastic to support this project and we look forward for other young enthusiasts to engage with the NACF on their ideas so that we can have more materials of this sort available,” noted PS Kalebi.
To conclude the ceremony, Mr Kennedy handed over to Ms Labrosse two copies of his book, one of which the latter presented to SIAD, whose students will now have the book as reference for their work.
Projects funded by NACF
Ms Labrosse noted that since its existence in March 2019, the department of culture helps artists across the board to turn their projects into reality.
“We help those who make CDs, videos, publications and other forms of art such as craft. For the year 2020, we have funded 13 projects at a cost of R600,000. In 2019, R1.3 million were spent on more than 20 projects. We urge artists who need help to please contact me on the fourth floor of Esplanade building at the department of culture.”
Photos: Thomas Meriton