This pandemic has brought so much to its knees, but it has also forced us to think up ways to continue being inspired in little bubbles.
Painters Sarah Calleja, Andrew Borg, Henry Falzon and Debbie Bonello have organised bi-monthly portrait study sessions wherein they invite guests to sit at a proper distance while they set off to practice portrait painting. In Andrew’s warm and inviting studio, the sitter is entertained with wine, a custom playlist and stimulating conversation. The reveals at the end of the portrait sittings in different styles have so far proved to be some of the most exciting moments of this year!
Women capturing Women
Rhea Micallef-Gavin, Maria Luisa Catrambone and Justine Ellul have come together to form Girls will be Girls, a female collective of women capturing women. A documentative series directed by the three women to empower and support the female community in Malta.
“We wanted and were determined to create a project that brought women together through art, as art is a very therapeutic way to deal with hard topics and a brilliant vessel to express and channel our deepest emotions,” said Catrambone.
“Drawing Maria while having Justine’s documentary eye following moves was interesting, it was like being challenged to keep up with the speed of a camera to capture the detail and the person with emotion as quickly as she could. The three of us created a multi-dimensional atmosphere all bouncing ideas of each other, challenging each other and lifting each other to the next level,” added Micallef-Gavin.
“With a genuine interest in people and their understanding, documentary comes as a natural passion,” said Ellul. “Only previously meeting their facade, spending an afternoon observing each other and understanding each comfort zone was such a peaceful flow. Music, smiles, charcoal and my camera putting all our creativity together”.
At Amelia Saint-George’s studio at the top of Valletta, groups of four gather a couple of times a week to listen to classical jazz and opera and get their hands dirty with free forming clay forms. I had not done anything like this in years – well never actually, save for shaping a male torso at a live modelling session at very cultured bachelorette party.
With Amelia’s technical and philosophical instructions, and the lay criticism of the other ‘students’, beautiful shapes were turned out week after week! I recommend this to anyone needing to unwind and organise their brains.