The comic landscape – Mauritius celebrates its rising stars
The art scene in Mauritius is no longer confined to traditional gallery spaces. Visitors to the island are increasingly able to view a range of local and international exhibitions in a variety of venues, from the artists' own studios and workshops to luxury restaurants and hotels.
Already well established as one of the Mauritian art world's major champions is the Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebene, who run regular events to highlight the work of artists from all disciplines. Running from now until 14 January 2014 – to coincide with the IL'EN BULLES Comic Festival – is an exhibition of comic boards created by nine talented Mauritian comic artists, all of which are extracted from the collective comic book ILE etait une fois (Once upon a time) published by Vizavi in 2011.
The artists came together via the initiatives of artist collectives AfriBD and CroArt to come up with the concept for the eight-chapter ILE etait une fois book, with each contributing four boards for which they entirely realised the scenario, drawing and colouring.
The comic boards on display represent no less than five centuries of Mauritian history, with a special place for the dodo who appears as a recurring character throughout the different stories. In addition to the comic boards themselves, the artists will also be presenting supporting sketches and drafts used in the creation of their respective storyboards, along with some exclusive drawings.
Artists taking part include Evan Sohun, who often works in pastels and soft colours to produce, in his own words – a "child's world full of ludicrous characters evolving in a dream-like environment", along with fellow cartoonists and illustrators Noah Nany, Laval Ng, Thierry Permal, Munavvar Namdarkhan, Annouchka Ramcharrun, Pov, Wilma Larche and Sebastien Langevin.