As this issue went to print, Malta entered a semi lockdown, with all non-essential shops closed for up to one month. Despite this, we hope that exhibitions will prevail, with galleries set to still re-open this year once restrictions have been lifted – even if temporarily online.
In line with this, we are pleased to hear of a number of gallery reopenings, including Marie5 by Maria Galea, who closed her doors for some time to help set up other galleries Iniala and a new online portal called ArtzID. Valletta’s staple contemporary art space, Valletta Contemporary, which has been closed since last year, is also reopening with a strong calendar of events.
With restaurants and leisure facilities closed to the entire population, many of us have taken to the outdoors to rest our minds and bodies from the stresses of daily work. As such, the subject of the islands’ natural and built environment has never been more prevalent in our thoughts and discussions. Two of our writers, Joanna Delia and Erica Giusta take a look at the environmental state of affairs, discussing greenwashing and outlining a need for change. Their contributions look at how artists need to continue to use their weapon of choice – art – to help in the war of over-development in Malta, as well as the misinformation being fed to the population, and how to dismiss it as opposed to succumbing to its distraction.
At this moment of increased isolation and down time, this issue also highlights the escapism of art to its readers. Konrad Buhagiar invites us on a journey tracing the origins of a painting found in an antiques shop. Ann Dingli considers the impact of Turner as an uncompromising truth teller. An interview with artist Debbie Caruana Dingli discusses the trials of mothers with delinquent children, bringing to life imagined hardships that have been influenced by new stories or fictitious accounts.
This content, and much more, we hope will signal the turn of a new season. Spring is here and, if nothing else, the awakening of the natural world is a true call for optimism. We should all have hope for brighter, warmer days. The team at Artpaper would like to wish all of its readers a Happy Easter. We have confidence that we won’t have to sign off with the customary #staysafe for much longer. Until then, enjoy the art. Our next issue is back again in June, but meanwhile please be sure to check out our website and sign up for updates.