2000s

Since 2000 my participation in collective exhibitions has been limited to a few, mostly national exhibitions.

Among them, Art In Malta Today, inaugurating St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Valletta, with what I call a free-standing two-sided painting titled Chromatic Orientations, in 2000; Gifts at St. James Cavalier during the Festive Season 2002/2003 with five abstract, watercolour collages; Six Generations of Contemporary Artists as part of the Malta Arts Festival in 2005 with Abstract Triptych, three pieces in acrylic on board, dated 1997; Twenty-Five Years 25 Artists, a historical overview of the modern art scene in Malta from 1981 to 2006 with The Stage, an oil on canvas on board dated 1985; Rotta tal-Arti commemorating the 42nd anniversary of Malta’s Independence with The Trap, an oil on canvas dated 1983 and for the 43rd anniversary with Spatial Projections in mixed media, dated 2004.

For the Malta Arts Festival in the summer of 2006 entitled Arts in the Environment the exhibition was held at Freedom Square, Valletta my participation consisted of an installation covering a floor space of approximately five metres by sixty centimetres. Planned to take full advantage of the full cycle of the daily sunlight, the work consisted of a set of four shallow tables, each having a series of three-dimensional painted aluminium abstract forms projecting from its surface.

The concept is based on the idea of having a variety of shadow compositions depending specifically on the direction of the sun. The full comprehension of my work titled Variable Shadow-Cast Compositions could best be experienced by viewing the work in more than one instance, at different times of the day. Eventually, this project, now part of the State Collection at MUZA, led to a private commission inspired by the same principle but within an internal space with modulated natural lighting through an overhead skylight.

My most significant event, at the time, was my solo exhibition titled ARTworks at The Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta, from 20th April to 15th May, 2007. The following are some of my own statements published in a leaflet for this occasion:

“I have come to look at my artwork in terms of an ongoing project of self-discovery. Each piece is a construction or a re-construction of thoughts. Thoughts which go into the process of making my own art. This thought process is made up of some of my own past discoveries mingled with new current ones, within the fundamental laws of visual language.”

“The title of this present exhibition states a principle which has been guiding me for a number of years now; that of making an art which works on the intellectual and the emotional as much as on the visual. Until that is reached it must pass through a sincere and cautious process of intellectual and emotional maturity on my part, unhampered by any sort of compromising which infects so much of contemporary art.

I feel that the intellectual and the emotive aspects are concurrent both in the execution as well as in the methodology. They make up the recurrent concept behind each piece.

The technical aspect cannot be separated from the so-called expression. This expression refers to the overall visual experience transmitted, irrespective of any interpretation or thematic meaning which a viewer may be tempted to decipher. It is not my intention to make a puzzle out of symbolic references or to consciously conceal complex meanings of any kind.

It is a visual language which is only effective through specific procedures of a technical nature. The seemingly play of formal elements is in itself a prerequisite for the full attainment of each and every composition. It is an art that strives for its existence by a process of liberation from all that is beyond my own scope of making art. Yet it is also an art which abides by my own constraining rules. I see these self-imposed constraints as the discipline behind the expression.

I am only interested in making an art which explores what I consider the universal underlying roots of visual art but through a personal and enlivened sense of spirit.

Often, my own paintings become my own source of inspiration. They intrigue me in discovering further realms of imagination. They stimulate further thought and sensations which I then reconstruct visually, according to what I now consider are the genetics of (my own) visual vocabulary.

Today, at the basis of a lot of my works one may find an element of mathematics. The compositional structure is often a calculated exercise where space is given geometrical considerations. Mathematics has never been alien to art. Their relationship has existed well before the ancient Greeks theorized the Golden Rule.

I conceive each and every new piece that I make as a unique statement, scrutinizing well my own thoughts in the process. In this process I am only conditioned by rules which pertain to problems of a visual and a rational nature and my one and only goal is to make that single piece, that single concept visibly real.

For me, taking adequate time on working out a piece is one such important rule. I favour a reflective and a selective approach throughout the whole process where very little may be left to chance and where ideas are bred and matured, unconditioned by other factors which I consider as extraneous to a sincere expression. I hope that the result of this genuine, rational build-up of my inner eye’s experience is transmitted to the one who with sensibility and reason takes time to explore and discover it.