Issue 15

June 2021

The creative energy that has been bubbling during the months of lockdown and its forced solitude just couldn’t stay contained any longer. This once again proves the resilience and dedication of those involved in the arts, as well as the importance of connecting through art and design.

In Malta, we have finally been able to enjoy well produced exhibitions and performances and start to connect again. Despite the thirst for culture events, it has also been a brave attempt by the artists, museums and galleries, to express themselves without the possibility of opening to the public as planned, in case of another lockdown. Let’s hope the exhibitions continue and more artists feel the confidence again to create and put their work in show. 

Inside this issue, Ann Dingli meets artists Lydia Cecil and Sebastian Tanti Burlò in London to talk about their work painted during lockdown in Gozo, which is being exhibited at Arthall in Gozo this autumn (page 17); a community-driven art project opens in Valletta at The Design Cluster (page 6); and during a time when the need for nature has never been so prominent, Antje Liemann will create an imagined world without humans at her exhibition at Muża in Valletta this August (page 12). 

Architect Erica Giusta visits the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 and shares the event’s highlights (page 26); Gabrielle Spiller reviews the retrospective for Yayoi Kusama in Berlin; Christine Xuereb Seidu explores the artistic success in Cameroon (page 30); whilst architect Konrad Buhagiar looks at the destructive impact of man’s intervention in the natural world (page 32); and Doctor Joanna Delia discusses how it is the IQ of the Maltese authorities who don’t know the importance and economic relevance of the arts, and how this should be questioned and not the other way around (page 20).

As we close another issue and look forward to the summer season, our team would like to express solidarity with the arts community in their call for greater parity around restriction easing for mass cultural events. Currently, it has been announced that mass cultural events can only be attended by 100 people, with proof of vaccination. Weddings are allowed 300 people, no mention of vaccination. This seems considerably unbalanced. Arts and cultural events are conducive to a healthy, diverse society and should be lifted and supported by the powers that be – encouraged through safe and reasonable means to bring audiences back to the places they love. Instead, it feels as though they are being singled out and penalised. We hope things will change. Until they do – we offer moral support to any creative or cultural endeavour that is trying to bring people back to life through art. 

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