Seychelles Jewel

  • Leigh Skinner

A Sunday Drive on Seychelles took us across this tiny country into farmlands tucked away amongst giant trees and palms and creepers, in huge abundance and we finally arrived at Antonio Filippin’s house and studio tucked behind his wife, Maria’s well known restaurant called Maria’s.

I was already intrigued by the gallery area with nubile curvy wood sculptures of Seychelles woman a mythical creatures reminiscent of prehistoric birds and such when this tiny wiry yet strong old man arrived and graced us with his mischievous smile. A face I shall always recall, my photographs of him capture him perfectly, a face that tells many stories. He took us on a guided  tour of his wondrous unique open plan , creative ,and spacious waterfall themed  home, and then onto the “Pirates Cove ”. The Entrance captures the senses immediately as one is greeted by a light filled  waterfall, the water is blue and cool and its utterly lovely and calming. The ceiling is star spangled in cobalt blue hues and the four poster is richly decorated in Royal blue Velvet. Everything was created entirely by this tiny strong man over the past years and he absolutely loves talking one through the stories of how he went about it as well as all his half fantastical and half truth tales about each item and invention , much humour and mischief added to this spicy mix of decor , fabrics, textures, paintwork and earthy aroma’s. I was completely intrigued from start to finish and thankfully tried out the shower created from a mountain stream half way through as it was a hot business climbing through many doorways and up ladders, through small doorways and windowless rooms covered in exotic fabrics and memorabilia. At times I felt myself losing my thoughts in his mythical stories and time became still as I imagined myself in that time. Antonio amazed me by his agility and dexterity as he squeezed into nooks and crannies to turn the endless array of marvellous designed and choreographed lighting arrangements on and off. Our tour ended up in the Captains room with music from another area playing on an ancient turntable with that lovely scratchy muffled sound. This room is packed full of collectables and wonderful fabrics and wood bits.

We finally exited this completely unique tour into the light and a view of the country side enhanced by a precariously arranged goat sculpture. I was really hot and tired but exhilarated by the beautiful energy that emanated from this  amazing soul. He literally made my day.

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