‘Windows’ by Dolores Lungaro-Mifsud
‘Windows’ a ceramic exhibition by Dolores Lungaro-Mifsud will be inaugurated by the Director of the Chinese Cultural Centre Mr. Gu Hongxing on Thursday 6th June 2013 and will remain open for public viewing from 7th to 20th June. Around 50 works that include free standing sculpture and wall hanging pieces is perhaps the most comprehensive show by the ceramist to date. The wall hanging pieces at the newly refurbished La Vallette V.I.P. Club Lounge at the Malta International Airport, Luqa exhibited during March – May 2013 will be agumented by sculptural pieces at the China Cultural Centre from the 7th of June 2013. The curator is E. V. Borg. This rich and sophisticated collection is quite representative of the artist’s vision and concept.
Unity and disparity, an aggressive and docile touch quite rare and unique, simple and complex, poetic and lyrical, fantastic and imaginative are the result of exuberant adventure, extravagant experiment and the excitement and thrill of risk and abandon.
This polarity of restraint and abandon is the hallmark of her work. Meticulous, studied techniques are imbued with the freedom and liberty of the creative force.
The cityscapes with definite skylines are unique, original and modern in their geometric simplicity and flatness, pure but suggestive. ‘Somewhere in Gozo’, ‘New Moon’, ‘Uptown’, ‘Old City’, ‘Midnight’ are a series of collages or slab reliefs mounted onto old wooden shutters, found objects transformed into exquisite pieces with the work ethic of a restorer, lovingly and painstakingly conserving in the process metal hinges, locks and layers of ‘velature’ of original paint. The respect for the found object is so deep that the shutters are reversible and can be reused in their original setting.
Yet the unity of the pieces is astoundingly lyrical. The buildings in ‘Uptown’ have a roseate hue as if tinged by the mitigated light of a rising sun which is so contagious that it spreads onto the wood support in sympathetic magic. While the sun is not visible in this piece, the moon is in ‘New Moon’.
The austere monochromatic quality of the series gives place to the rosy fingers of dawn in ‘Uptown’.
‘Lotus’ is a geometric abstract of great purity and simplicity as if designed by a metal divider with chords of circles incised into the clay. The effect is astounding in its mathematical precision and rationality. It is a wonderful mosaic of shapes in colour contrasts.
The artist reserves a paean for the female nude figure in ‘Erotica’, ‘Written in Sand’ and ‘Small of the Back’. She breaks into song and with feminine delicacy she etches in the clay nude figures with an economy of line and graphic effect. The lyrical and poetic harmony of these works is inspired by literature and song. They suggest through pure beauty of form the pleasure in anticipation through sensual seduction and fatal attraction.
Among the ceramic sculpture ‘Inner Emotions’ (13), ‘Harmonic’ (16) and ‘Anima Nuda’ (18) are outstanding works in their plasticity, tactile qualities and textural variety. ‘Anima Nuda’ is a melted organic form, ‘Inner Emotions’ is expressive in its contorted shape while ‘Harmonic’ simulates brocade or damask in its fine pitted texture.
The artist’s imagination and fantasy often borrow texture from fabric or textile as her background experience in designing and producing bridal gowns is auxiliary and related to her creative work in ceramics. It is fascinating how the artist improvises through exploiting an old piece of Malta lace to imprint an elaborate texture that suggests the iridescent skin of a variegated snake.
Dolores Lungaro-Mifsud presents a rich collection of ceramics that reveal a romantic strain, a creative and expressive force, original and unique - the result of combined and opposite forces of abandon and restraint.
E. V. Borg
09. 04. 2013
Dolores Lungaro-Mifsud (b.1964) was brought up in a family with an engineering background. In 2007 she experienced artistic clay expression at the Malta Society of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce and instantly fell in love with the medium. She then studied with ceramists Julie Apap (1948-2011) and George Muscat (b.1962) and attended courses at MCAST Institute of Art and Design, workshops and seminars to help her deepen skills and perception in ceramics. In 2010 she set up her own studio, bought her first kiln and started working on larger projects. Over the past few years much of her efforts have been directed to experimentation, introspection and expression. Each ceramic piece is a subtle collaboration of artistry, chemistry and fire. The end result is always something unique: an original work of art. Her engineering background has proven to be invaluable in the mounting of the ceramic wall pieces and the structural design of her sculptures. In 2011 she was unanimously awarded 1st prize in the 10th National Art Exhibition and Competition, Malta Society of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce. In 2011 her works were featured as part of the set for the programme ‘Better Living’, Super One TV. In 2012 her sculpture ‘Anima Nuda’ was featured as artwork for the album ‘Phil’s Feelings’ by Italian jazz artists Alessandro Filippig Quartet. Dolores presently lives in Paola, Malta. She works with an engineering firm and indulges in ceramics in a professionally organized studio. She is vice president and co-founder of The Malta Raku Association (MRA, www.maltaraku.com) and committee member of the Art Discussion Group (ADG, www.adgmalta.webs.com). The artist’s gallery may be viewed on www.doloreslungaromifsud.com