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Art Discussion Group - Malta


ETHOS - A Burst of Colour

Mr. Mark Vella, Head of Valletta Fund Management inaugurated ‘Ethos – A Burst of Colour’ a collection of paintings by Catrina Louise Attard (1962-) at Cavalieri Hotel on Friday 30th March 2012. The exhibition was open to the general public between the 31st of March and the 17th of May 2012 but has been extended till the end of July. Catrina’s expression is an extrovert cry of joy that emanates in a burst of warm and passionate colours, an exotic and symbolic vision.

Catrina Louise Attard (1962-) is a born expressionist. Her expression is clear, strong and bold.  The splash of warm colours, the exotic touch reflect her bubbling personality and open sincere character. She is explicitly inspired by the sea, by sea creatures and fossils embedded in reefs and corals. 

She admires the Impressionists and Expressionists but probably she owes a lot to Odilon Redon (1840-1916), the Symbolist. Her expression is the result of visions and fantasies from a romantic dream-world with an affinity to Redon’s. She also loves Islamic, Oriental, Celtic and Abstract art.

Favourable circumstances has stimulated her creative urge and with great enthusiasm and involvement she is presenting a collection of paintings at Cavalieri Hotel, St. Julians in April 2012. ‘I am driven by observing nature, geology, the sea, all around me but close up, in detail’. Such a statement by Catrina exposes her as an existentialist. Such a way of life surfaces explicitly in her work: passionately and sincerely human. 

The work, that is manifestly so, is ‘The Lovers’, a dynamic and forceful expression that projects the bond of man and woman and the fatal attraction and consequent sexual fullfilment and the inevitable progeny. 

The passion of the life-giving force is dramatically expressed. ‘Entwined’ is its immediate corollary while the atmosphere changes in ‘Cafe Society’ where people seem passively exhibiting themselves as in a painting by the American artist: Edward Hopper (1882-1967).

‘Seahorses’, ‘Reef’, ‘Ocean’ and ‘Corals’ form part of a large section that is inspired by the sea, sea creatures and fossils. The works about eleven are possibilities on a theme with a richness of warm, brilliant colours and an exotic quality impossible to ignore. The passion and dynamic force released is electrifying. Possibly ‘Reef’ and’ ‘Ocean’ are perhaps the best in this section. 

‘Reef’ especially, with its warm reds, yellows and oranges in contrast with the ultramarine blue. ‘Fossils’, though quite formal with white distinct fossils on a scarlet ground, is very effective in its simplicity when compared to the rest which are complex and detailed.

Among the abstract works: ‘Blue’ and the ‘Eye of Osiris’ are a burst of strong warm colours while ‘Abyss’ and ‘Organic’ are more contemplative and restrained. ‘Bacchus’ is an act of frenzy as figures perform an orgy of movement or a Bacchic extravaganza. ‘Abstract Two’ is the most extravagant and exuberant with abstracted bird of paradise plumage, brilliant and strong. The dancing movement though restrained throbs, quivers and pulsates.

‘Ethos’ is very fluid and dreamy, a contemplative work and has the softness that the artist achieves in ‘Ascension into Being’ and ‘Hannibal’s Advance’ painted in a predominant saffron yellow.

‘Evening Ends’ is pure poetry. ‘Rooftops’ is a powerful landscape in pure colour the result of basic geometric shapes quite expressive and essentially modern. Among the watercolours ‘Ammonite’ and ‘Water Visions’ are primitive in their liquidity and playfulness. ‘Anemones’ is astoundingly beautiful.

Catrina Louise Attard was born in Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire and attended Southend College of Art, Essex. She has been living in Malta since 1986. She is married to Ray Attard, a professional freelance photographer of quality. Locally she studied art under Eman Grima and Matthew Cassar at the Malta Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. She has participated in numerous collectives and her works in private collections are found in USA, UK and Malta. She owes a great deal to her mother Beatrice Mary Hennessy (1939-2002) and to her husband Ray who encourages and helps her. The artist is also grateful for the consistent, persistent and insistent encouragement of her children.

This personal exhibition should project her expression among the art-loving public in a bold, strong and powerful manner.

04. 03. 2012

E. V. Borg