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Nigel Henri - Artist

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Nigel Leonard Henri was born in June 1967 on the island of Mahé in Seychelles, where he lives today with his wife Kerstin and daughter Stefania.

Henri's artistic talent was from an early age encouraged by his family and teachers. After leaving school he attended Seychelles Polytechnic where he studied art and graphic design. In 1989, he won a scholarship to study overseas at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. He graduated with a BA in Education, specialising in art.

Returning to Seychelles in 1992, Henri took up a teaching post at the Polytechnic, with responsibility for the Graphics Department. In 1999, he transferred to the Ministry of Youth and Culture where he was responsible for the Production Department, creating publicity materials for every aspect of the Ministry's Programme.

Throughout this period Henri continued to paint, building his portfolio and exhibiting in Seychelles and internationally. Henri is the first Seychellois International Biennial prize-winner. At the same time he formed the Association for Visual Arts, an organisation with over 120 members that aimed to develop Seychelles' visual artists, mount local and international exhibitions, and run training workshops. Henri chaired the Association for ten years. In 1999 he co-founded CENAC, a professional organisation for artists in Seychelles.

In 2002 Henri set up his own graphic design consultancy. From corporate branding to poster design, his creative solutions can be seen in a wide range of publicity materials across Seychelles. Most importantly, the freedom of self-employment has allowed Henri to realise his goal of spending more time on his art.

The artist at work

Henri is an artist of Seychelles. Inspired from an early age by his environment and his experiences, Henri's eye for colour and form captures and conveys the richness of specific aspects of Creole culture and island life.

Working out of his studio high on the hillside above the small community of Beau Vallon, he attracts interest from visitors of all nationalities. Henri's paintings now hang in private collections all over the world. In Seychelles, his art is encountered everywhere. It is seen by visitors arriving at the airport, by customers queuing at the bank, and by tourists resting in hotels. He is regularly commissioned by business and industry for special projects, including a promotional calendar for Seychelles Breweries Ltd in 2004, and representing the story of Seychelles' tuna fishing industry.

Henri's unique, highly colorful and often heavily textured style is very much typical of Seychelles' art scene, but distinctive. Working mainly in the flexible media of acrylic, ink and pastel, he also deploys painting techniques like heavy splash paint, and uses unconventional materials such as glue and masking fluid to achieve the special effects that convey depth, mood and movement in his underwater scenes. In his paintings of daily life, his use of bold blocks of contrasting colour connects the viewer to the vibrancy of Seychelles' society. The influence of graphic design is also obvious in some of his experimental works, where he makes use of a range of different typefaces.

Working with unconventional tools such as scrapers, toothbrushes, rollers of different sizes, and even pieces of wood adds an experimental dimension to the creative process for Henri. He works mainly on canvas, but enjoys exploring the different effects of textured surfaces such as embossed wallpaper and fiberglass. This search for an unusual dimension extends to his striking panel works, where underwater scenes are depicted across a series of canvases.

All of Henri's paintings originate on one canvas - there are no preliminary sketches, only single works. Unrestricted by time or convention, the flow of creative inspiration can be immediate, or develop over weeks and even months. All the paintings wrap around the mount so that, unframed, the work can be viewed from any angle. The Henri portfolio is extensive and can be consider as Seychelles’ international leading artist. His works are in collections of  Kings, Presidents and celebrities like Leonardo de Caprio – from the United Nations, ADB Tunisia, USA, France, Germany, Canada, UK, Russia, Austria, Australia, Indonesia, Martinique, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Switzerland, South Africa, Iceland, Portugal, Sweden, U.A.E, Tunisia, Italy and Seychelles to name a few.

Nigel Henri - Artist - Awards & Projects


Carrefour des Créateurs (Best Artist Award) 2005 La Reunion
1st Arts Festival of Seychelles 2003: 3rd Prize
National Day Horticultural Show 2003: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prizes
National Day Horticultural Show 2002: 1st and 2nd Prizes
1st International Biennial in Mauritius 2002: 2nd Prize
Seychelles and Italy friendship art project Gold Medal

Round Island Hotel 2012
Ujani University Indonesia 2011
Four Season Project 2011
Hannamann Residence Beau Vallon 2010
Seychelles Consulate Indonesia 2009
National Sports Council  - Sports Men/Women of the year 2008
Eden Island 2009 – commission to refurbish two residences (24 original paintings)
Eden Resort Port Glaud 2009
Classified Destination (Tour Operator) corporate Identities  
Seychelles 2008
BilBow Spain 2008
Alamanda Hotel Seychelles 2008
OMI Bank Eden Islands Seychelles 2008
Painting for UN COP13 in Bali Indonesia 2007
Airtel Calendar 2008
New Seychelles Embassy China 2007
Cop 13  Bali Indonesia 2007
World Cup 2006 Buddy Bear Manifesto with 180 artists from all over the world
Eden Island 2007
Labriz Silhouette Resort 2007
Ex-Service Men Ball 2007 - 2003
Bayan Tree Seychelles 2006
MCB (Mauritius Commercial Bank) 2005
Roman Catholic Church 2005
Silhouette Island Resort 2005
Hunt, Deltel & Co Ltd 2005
Northolme Hotel and Spa 2005
Seychelles Breweries Ltd Promotional Calendar 2004
Artist in Residence, La Reunion 2003
Berjaya Mahé Beach Hotel 2003
Nature Seychelles corporate Identities 2003
The Mauritius Commercial Bank (Seychelles) Ltd 2003
Buddy Bear Peace Manifesto, Berlin, Germany 2002
Seychelles Underwater Festival  corporate Identities 2003
Launch model Volkswagen Beetle, Bonn, Germany 2000

Nigel Henri - Artist - Exhibitions



Art Festival 2012 (collective) Kaz Zanana
Kaz Zanana (Nou Menm) 2010 – with Egbert Marday
Alliance Francaise 2009
The World (World largest hotel ship) 2008 (collective)
Tourism Week 2008 (collective)
Carfoure des arts 2007 (collective)
Carfoure des arts 2006 solo
Subios: Seychelles Underwater Festival 2004 (solo)
Seychellois and British Art 2003 (collective)
Arts Festival 2003 (solo)
National Day Horticultural Show 2003 (collective)
Coral Strand Hotel 2002 / 2003 (solo)
National Day Horticultural Show 2002 (collective)
Alliance Française des Seychelles 2001 / 2002 (collective)
Kreol Festival, National Art Gallery 1997-2002 (collective)
Seychelles National Art Gallery 1996-2001
Berjaya Beau Vallon Hotel 1998 (solo)
Biennial Des Seychelles, National Art Gallery 1996 / 1998 (collective)
Subios: Seychelles Underwater Festival 1989 (solo)

Gazprom  Düsseldorf (Solo) 2011
Ujani University Indonesia (Solo) Sep 2011
Gazprom  Düsseldorf (Solo) 2011
Bejjin China (solo) 2010
Bali Indonesia (Solo) 2010
Switzerland (collective) 2009
Brussels Belgium - 2008 (collective)
South Korea - 2008 (collective)
Sibolga Indonesia –2008 (Solo)
Germany – Berlin 2008 (collective)
Indonesia – Bali (solo) 2007
Germany - Berlin (solo) 2007
Germany - Postdam (solo) 2007
Germany - Berlin (solo) 2007
Germany - Bonn (solo) 2006
Bordeaux (France) 2006
Paris 2006 (solo)
Bordeaux France (solo) 2006
ADB Tunisia (solo) 2006
Canada (collective) 2005
La Reunion 2005 (collective)
Madagascar 2005 (solo)
South Africa 2004 (solo)
South Africa 2003 (collective)
Mauritius 1st International Biennial 2002 (collective)
Czech Republic 2001 (solo)
Luxembourg 2001 (solo)
Indonesia 1999 (collective)
Paris 1999 (collective)
India 3rd Triennial 1998
Germany 1997 / 1999 / 2001 / 2002 (solo)
England 1991 (collective)