Author: Joseph Agius

Art

The 21st century has been unkind to a considerable number of local 20th century artists. Some of them have been largely forgotten due to no fault of their own. Their oeuvres, in many cases, have been dispersed without proper cataloguing, and attempting to locate individual works is a near to impossible feat. This is especially true for artists who lived for long periods of time away from these shores, due to their professional commitments or life decisions. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, as the work of 20th century Maltese greats like Willie Apap and, to a lesser…

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It is not often that one comes across a mother and a son who are both published authors, especially when the son is just nine years old. Jacqueline Mizzi and her son, Matias talk to Joseph Agius about their books, their love for literature and plans for the future. It is not often that one comes across authors of so young an age. Was Matias inspired by the fact that his mother is an author herself or was it a process that evolved independently? A special dedication from Matias to his mum and dad. Jacqueline: I think it was a…

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Art

Johanna Barthet is synonymous with the portrait genre and has become one of its leading prota­gonists in Malta. Her first solo exhibition in 2019, Stories Untold, introduced her to the art-loving public as a new voice in a genre that has often been overlooked or looked down upon as a commission-based one. Her personal way of tackling portraiture didn’t require sitters to pose in her studio. She searched and found her models on magazines and social media platforms like Instagram and gave them new life on her canvas. She became the pictorial storyteller by wresting these individuals away from their…

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Art

Although Daniel Borg is a newcomer to the visual art scene, he is no novice in the local music scene, having been a member of Maltese bands such as Skimmed, The Velts, Fastidju and Superlove. Coming also from a design  background, he feels that his shift to art was a reaction to personal circumstances. Record “I’m almost 35 years of age. Finding people to form a band at my age is very difficult, an age in which one is generally more inclined to start a family. I could have opted for a solo career in music; however, had I done…

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HER is an exhibition that investigates  the aspects of intimacy and identity via photography. Clint Scerri Harkins talks to Joseph Agius about his latest exhibition. The title of the exhibition is enigmatic and generic, referring to the feminine third person singular. However, these works are all about your partner, thus grounding the theme of the exhibition. Is this collection of works a study in femininity or an introspective labour of personal love towards one person? Or both? Clint Scerri Harkins It is a bit of both. Even though there is absolutely nothing in the theme/thoughts about the pandemic in this…

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Art

“It sounds like the noise of chains, Dragging on the pebbles. It’s the great Lustucru who is passing” (An old French lullaby) The Second of the Seven White Witches of Lustucru Artist Etienne Farrell’s latest exhibition, Lustucru, investigates human emotions and phobias in a collection of 31 works in various media that include metal and clay sculpture, clay relief, photography, videography and watercolour. The origins of Lustucru The strange title of the exhibition has not been creatively coined by the artist herself. It owes its origins to a 17th century French almanac in which a character, Lustucru, a blacksmith turned…

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Art

Our Wonderful World is photographer Mike Sullivan’s ode to the beauty, natural and otherwise, that is all around us. Joseph Agius discusses with the photographer what indeed makes his world go round. Your photographs are all about open spaces and uncontaminated nature. How come you have decided to settle in Malta, so overcrowded and polluted? What constitutes our country’s redeeming factors? My images are of beautiful and aspirational places or things on the planet that we all take for granted. The ‘wow factor’ can be the vivid colours, or the ‘wish-I-was-there’ feeling. This all adds to providing memories of previous…

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Art

Having left Malta almost 20 years ago to settle in Denmark, Maltese ceramist Tony Briffa (b. 1959) hasn’t renounced his roots as they sometimes come up as themes that he interprets through the ceramic medium. Modern Maltese ceramics as an artform owes a lot to Gabriel Caruana who wrested the medium out of its traditional roots of craft and investigated thoroughly its potential as an expressive artistic language on its own merits through an ongoing research that exploited its possibilities. Caruana’s students were numerous and Briffa became one of the most enterprising among them.  Caruana always encouraged Briffa as a…

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On the 10th anniversary since the passing of sculptor Joseph Casha, Joseph Agius talks to the artist’s youngest daughter Alison Casha, his brother Louis Casha, best friend Paul Haber and art critic Louis Laganà about the legacy he left behind. The work of sculptor Joseph Casha (1939-2011) originates from an admiration for the 20th century art movement of surrealism. The artist’s monograph Fantasy and Reality The landscapes of Max Ernst, one of the major protagonists of this celebrated movement, exhibit decaying fantasy landscapes, ‘forests’ of totemic formations, fragmented trees, as well as anthropomorphic and biomorphic organic forms. Casha’s most recent…

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