Godwin Cassar - watercolourist
Godwin Cassar an architect/planner by profession retired as Director General of the Malta Environment & Planning Authority in January 2009 after a 36-year career in the public service, 17 years of which heading the executive level at the Authority. Before the Authority was founded he was instrumental in setting up new structures, training staff and leading a team of around 50 professionals in drawing up the first Structure Plan for Malta.
In April 1996 he was admitted as Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute (UK). In July 1998 he was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University of Central England, Birmingham in recognition of his ‘distinguished services to planning’. Towards the end of his career he was actively involved with university academia in formulating the national strategy for sustainable development.
On his retirement he started looking for new interests as a break from the high pressure job he had become accustomed to. He first published ‘Planning Matters’ a collection of essays and other writings on planning issues written between 1985-2008. In the summer of 2009 he followed a short course on painting & drawing under the guidance of a young artist Matthew Cassar at the Carmelite Priory in Mdina. This course included mainly still life drawing and portraits in ink and pencil. In October of the same year he joined the first year of the arts foundation course at the School of Arts which introduced him to new techniques in poster colours.
Soon after the successful conclusion of the first year exam at the School of Arts in May 2010 he enrolled for private tuition in watercolours under the guidance of Vincent Amos, a British resident artist who formerly lectured at the University of Leicester, United Kingdom where he was also an Arts Director.
In 2012 he participated in the 11th National Art Exhibition organised by the Malta Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Between April and June of the current year Godwin Cassar followed an intensive workshop of 16 sessions under the guidance of leading watercolourist John Martin Borg in landscape painting.
The workshop included live demonstrations and hands-on experience; appreciation of landscape types; composition; skies, depicting space, perspective; techniques in watercolour; painting buildings & trees; interpreting water and the use of photography. In June he attended a week-long painting workshop in Posara, Italy under the guidance of Thomas Schaller a renowned American watercolourist. Schaller has long been considered one of the foremost architectural artists in the world. In the field, he has won every major award for his artwork. He is increasingly in demand internationally to conduct his watercolour workshop series: ‘The Architecture of Light’.
In the meantime Godwin Cassar has not relinquished all his ties with the profession as he is still involved in a number of areas. He is currently a member of the Commission for Catholic Cultural Heritage set up by the Curia; Faculty board member of the Islands and Small States Institute University of Malta and Member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the Institute of Earth Systems, University of Malta.