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Art Discussion Group - Malta

145th Meeting Artist

Ray Azzopardi - sculptor

The 145th Art Discussion Group Meeting will be held on Tuesday 28th February 2017 at 19.30hrs at St. Mary’s Band Club, Qrendi (near parish church). ADG is inviting Ray Azzopardi (1956-) an artist sculptor.

The Actor

2012, polychromed wood, 50 X 33 x 20cm

Meeting of the Minds

2015, araucaria, h40cm


2012, painted wood, 52 x 42 x 16cm

Ray Azzopardi’s sculpture does not reflect or refract light (as in the work of Medardo Rosso, 1858-1928); it absorbs light. His works are statuesque, strong, bold, massive, robust and heavy. If one had to relate them to Roman architecture they would fit nicely. Such architecture is described as an enormous oak tree with roots deep into the ground and branches reaching to the skies, sturdy, strong and vertical. Ray’s works are dynamic with the force within exploding outwards. His work is not broken by light but caressed by it creating a mellow ‘chiaroscuro’. He keeps his distance from Rosso’s melting forms even when his work is highly textured as much as Josef Kalleya (1898-1998) snuggled close. Perhaps Ray has observed and studied the work of Samuel Bugeja (1920-2004) whose oeuvre is solid and massive. (Borg, E. V. Contemporanea – Maltese Sculpture Exhibition, 2016)

Ray says: ‘Since I started carving wood I have changed my ways of approaching my craft and art. I am interested in the skill of carving that involves hours of patient work but also concerned about the subject matter I choose related to my vision and concept and to the type of wood used and its finish. Once begun there is no turning back. I take my ideas from everyday life such as meeting new friends, hearing lyrics or titles of songs, emotions and news. Then I invent a title to my work before I start and then it may change from my original sketches while working’.

Ray participated in the collective exhibition: ‘An Idiom in Wood’ at the Cathedral Museum Mdina in 1992, in ‘Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition - 100 years of Maltese Sculpture’ in 2015 and in ‘Contemporanea’ in 2016, both organized at Cavalieri Art Hotel, St. Julians.

Ray Azzopardi will answer questions from the floor regarding his vision, concept, approach and technique. He will also elaborate about highlights in his career and particular works that gave him great satisfaction.

E. V. Borg

12. 02. 2017

ADG Chairman