What a comeback year this was! The work in the Malta Pavilion at the Biennale Di Venezia got raving reviews, Artissima returned with a bang, Art Basel in Miami was the party of the year and Malta is seeing a keen interest in the many established and new art spaces around the country. The big institutions like Spazju Kreattiv and Society of Arts are booked to close to eternity with big shows and the performance art companies are showing mesmerizing things to big audiences and taking their wares abroad. Last but not least, an auction of local modern art from the 20th century saw works sell for never before seen prices consolidating the belief that the Maltese are not only interested in old masters and art from the baroque era. Hopefully the interest of these collectors turns to contemporary art by living artists with the same fervour.
On the other hand, we are still struggling with human rights, women’s rights to be precise and we are slowly accepting the fact that we have always been a port town – with communities as diverse as diverse gets, and are enjoying a cultural renaissance with contributions from lovers of this island born on every corner of the planet!
In the next few years we are expecting the opening of a huge and exciting national contemporary art space – MICAS, as well as the launch of a Malta Biennial – which one hopes will be curated well – and will pull us into the future and not be a parochial “yes yes” nod nod to all and sundry. One hopes. One dreams.
To all the artists out there – keep it up! To all the ones running the spaces – persevere. To everyone else – discover the amazing art on this island and fall in love with it. Take it home. Learn from it. Only art can save us!