UNITY IN DIVERSITY
Wignacourt Collective Exhibition at Rabat
‘Unity in Diversity’ is a collective art exhibition involving ten participating artists living in the limits of Rabat, Malta. It is a direct result of changing perceptions in the application of art concepts in contemporary Malta. Art on the Island is no longer the prerogative of the few or a class in society but has become all embracing serving new societal needs especially those cultural, educative and artistic. It helps to bring people together.
Carmen Vella Gauci
After long observation and deep reflection Matthew Cassar expresses a Rough Sea breaking on the rocks in crashing waves with crested foam and stinging spray as if all hell is let loose. Matthew does not cower before the sea’s superhuman power; he delights in its dynamic energy. Yet he also loves the swell in open sea, its viscosity, its mountainous waves and deep troughs.
Marika Camilleri’s Goddess and Anna Maria Gatt’s Dgħajsa tal-Latini are a direct result of this change in mentality turning a traditional craft: lace, into a creative expression stimulated by new structures in teaching the subject at tertiary level. The previous geometric decorative basis of Maltese lace has developed and has been transformed into the elegant and delicate female nude, a kind of Venus in Goddess by Marika, a way of asserting feminine self-esteem and in the quite figurative and illustrative Maltese boat with large sails as expressed by Anna Maria Gatt.
Alison Zammit Endrich
Confusion, an urban streetscape by Carmen Gauci Vella is a vehement protest against the insensitive manner of how man has encroached on nature by creating concrete jungles the cause of ill health, stress and tension in our life. While the bird’s eye view of a chapel dome in Mdina suggests that there is still a rich heritage pressing to be salvaged.
Paul Galea in a more positive note is inspired by nature’s beauty or the way man connives with nature to create a relaxing and pleasant environment. Paul Galea creates a warm scene with a burst of colour in At the Market and a bustling scene with people walking in the rain under colourful umbrellas in the campo santo on the side parvis of St. Paul parish church Rabat.
Among the Tuscan Sunflowers by Darin Dykstra, in the manner of van Gogh, is a poetic and lyrical interpretation of a sea of sunflowers bathed in light under a clear blue sky. Ġnejna Bay by Joseph Sultana is a sensitively poetic rendition of the beach with the waves rolling on to the rocks, an atmospheric and moody scene.
Louis Casha and Alison Zammit Endrich present abstract work. While that of Casha is purely geometric and Piontillist, dedicated to Victor Pasmore and Lucio Fontana, that by Alison painted on glass is more free, an abstract expressionist composition with tesserae of complimentary colours.
Robert Galea presents an expressive Crucifixion that is quite striking with the emotion and pathos it evokes. Its frontal quality not only impresses but stimulates meditation and reflection about suffering and sacrifice.
The variety of subject matter: streetscape, landscape, seascape, sacred art, urban architecture and sacred themes contribute to the exhibition title: Variety in Diversity. The participants studied various academic disciplines, attended different schools, have different backgrounds – some more technical while others more artistic and creative, but are presently working in the same enclave or environment. Rabat is an ancient urban settlement dating back to Punic and Roman times with a rich history that is still evolving and developing with extant traces of an old and exciting urban structure of streets, alleys and habitation.
E. V. Borg
Curator and art critic