99th Artist Meeting
The 99th Art Discussion Group Meeting will be held on Tuesday 24th January 2012 at 19.15hrs at MISCO OFFICE (first floor) in Fino Showrooms in Notabile Road, Mriehel. For this meeting the Society is inviting Mary Portelli from Gozo whose dedication, enthusiasm and involvement in glass mosaics is highly exciting, deeply interesting and decoratively satisfying. She will speak about her craft and answer questions about technique, materials and procedure.
Recently E.V. Borg, the curator of the 9th National Art Competition Exhibition organized by the Malta Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce wrote: ‘An exceptional and exquisite work is Wave by Mary Portelli in glass and mixed media. The craftsmanship is incredibly meticulous and perfect. It is a gem of a work!’ (FOCUS November 2010).
Since her youth Mary Portelli remembers distinctly her interest in drawing but unfortunately she was never encouraged to take the subject seriously. Eventually in 1975 she attained her ordinary level in art through the guidance of art teacher Miss Mary Rose Buttigieg (wife of Gabriel Caruana, the ceramist) who found time to review her work with patience and encourage her. Then during 1982/83, while working in Malta, she attended evening classes at the New Lyceum in Msida under the tuition of Mr Joseph L. Mallia.
In the early nineties, she attended art classes at the Gozo School of Art with Paul Stellini (who encouraged her to use colour since she was using pencil till then) and Anthony Caruana. At that time she tried her hand at oil pastels and acrylics.
In 2008 she finally decided to go for something different. She composed her first mosaic using the indirect method and from that moment she was obsessed by the medium! Since then she has experimented using different techniques to cut and create her artwork in order to optimise the use of light and the transparency of glass in particular. This has resulted in unique mosaic works among which are representations of waves made out of strips from glass bottles. Possibly these works are her best creations to date.
Her desire is to interact with those who admire her talent through mosaics since due to refraction and reflection some of her works change according to the viewer’s angle or position and light filtering into the room. She has also made it her goal to promote the joys of this ancient craft. In fact she has participated in several events to demonstrate her technique offering a hands-on experience to visitors.
Her vision in life is: ‘Dream, hope, and compose’. She was born in 1959 and has lived at Nadur, Gozo all her life. She is married and has 5 children. She is also employed at a full time job in the public service. Her online gallery is on: http://gozomosaic.com/.
E. V. Borg