Made in the Seychelles: With Artist Michael Adams
Published on: November 12th, 2014
Last modified: December 21st, 2016
Iconic Seychelles artist Michael Adams take us on a journey to Mahé Island and gives an insight into his evocative-of-place artwork that you can take home.
Artist Michael Adams has been creating his vividly coloured and black and white artworks in the Seychelles since 1972, and having exhibited extensively around the world, Michael is now perhaps the best known artist on the islands, even earning an MBE award for his contribution to the Seychelles’ art scene. Along with his son and daughter, Tristan and Alyssa, Michael displays and sells prints and postcards from their gallery in Anse aux Poules Bleues; a scenic coastal spot that’s definitely worth exploring.
“At Anse aux Poules Bleues In southwest Mahé, the blue chicken, like the dodo, was eaten to extinction; this time by the French and their slaves, so its bones must still be in my bamboo swamp bordering the domaine. Across Les Canelles there is another ancient domaine belonging to an old French pretender to Louis XV.”
“Nelson Paine found me this house. He was government architect and knew friends of mine in Nairobi. The house was dilapidated with shuttered windows, and steps at the end of the approach from the main sandy road that’s beside a stream and overhung by tall hard-wood or fruit-bearing trees, including a horse chestnut tree with leaves the size of bus wheels.”
“Pineapples, bananas, pumpkins and cucumbers, as well as spinach, sweet potatoes and golden apples grow. When I first came here, there were the wild, edible delights – new and unknown to me – which were the last of all Captain Cook’s breadfruit; when blackened into charcoal, they provide a mashed potato interior with a superior taste – especially with butter, salt and pepper – to the European favourite.”
THE SEYCHELLES’ APPEAL
“The Seychelles is a mid-ocean delta of driftwood people, and an escape from a man-made environment where nature has been tamed, trimmed, boxed and labelled. Here you find your own true proportion in this amazing revolving world. I like to look at the people and see a cross-section of the world’s faces coexisting in peace.”
THE ARTIST’S WORK
“Like Picasso, I am painting a diary that records the extraordinary joy of being alive; reflection is the right word. I am a mirror of everyday life in the Seychelles, while retreating more into my own botanical gardens. The local art is very young and vibrant; you can’t compare their hope, risk taking and infatuation with my sewing together of 44 years of memory. My focus now is on transferring my watercolours from over the ages into oils.”
“The Vallée de Mai waterfall over obsideon rock is one of my favourites. There’s peace of mind there. It’s a complex baroque mixture of falling sounds, exploding on rocks the colour of porpoises. My second favourite subject has to be my 17-year-old bamboos. You can hear them breathing as they grow five inches in a day.”
WHERE TO GO
“The paintings – mine and those of Alyssa and Tristan – can best be seen in our gallery. I have a large oil at the Four Seasons, and we have some at the Kempinski and on Fregate Island. In this area of Baie Lazare we have two six-star hotels; The Four Seasons and The Banyan Tree. There’s the Anse Soleil restaurant for fresh fish, and there are fantastic bamboos and excellent food at Le Jardin du Roi. Antonio Fillipin is the local sculptor extraordinaire.”
Find out more about Michael Adams and how to visit his gallery in Anse aux Poules Bleues at www.michaeladamsart.com.