From the glory and the heights of the sublime to the misery of existing and ruining our surroundings and ourselves. We are we and our circumstance, and like the Spanish Philosopher Ortega y Gasset used to say, if we don’t save it we don’t save ourselves. Where are we heading? What is left after us? How are we affecting our environment? Oh, humans, so capable of both extremes!
ANTHROPOS is a collective exhibition inhabited by undefined shapes, strange creatures and ghosts that with its powerful indifference make us consider who we really are and what we are creating or, perhaps even more, what we are destroying. The three participating artists are Mario Abela, Victor Agius and Tony Briffa. Mario Abela participates with large paintings, “notes from the Anthropocene”, referring to a time where humans started to impact the planet’s climate and ecosystems, showing a chaotic mix of nature, animals and humans. Victor Agius focuses on the earthy elements with sculptures made from organic materials, reminding the fragility of nature and humanity, but also their immense potential. Tony Briffa puts the cherry on the cake with his 3 dimensional creatures that seem to jump from a fantasy land direct to the Arthall show; fun and unclassifiable, they will catch your attention and charm your eye.
MARIO ABELA (1983) holds a Bachelors Degree in Education – Art and History, and a Masters in Fine Arts – Digital Arts, from the University of Malta. He is currently a senior lecturer at MCAST Institute for the Creative Arts, lecturing in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, and Interactive Media. He uses paintings, drawings, collage, video and sound that depart from the metaphysical, anthropological theories and history. Through a juxtaposition of images and chance during execution, what starts as storytelling, becomes an exploration into fantastic worlds. This puts concepts like time, memory and chance under analysis, to establish how these determine the interpretation of the past and sometimes forecast the future.
VICTOR AGIUS (1982) is an artist working in sculpture, painting, video, performance and installation. His practice demonstrates a direct affinity with the earth and the natural elements which are clearly demonstrated in his continuous research about primitive rudiments and rituals and also man’s incessant rapport with nature, time and his own existence. After graduating from the University of Malta (2004), he furthered his studies in Perugia, Italy and at the Central Saint Martin’s College for Art and Design in London (UK). He is co-founder of Ars Vitae Ensemble. He is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta. His works have been exhibited at the National Museum of Fine Arts and St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity in Valletta, at the UNESCO World Heritage site Ġgantija temples, at the Mdina Cathedral, at The Royal Theatre in Valletta, at St Agatha’s Catacombs in Rabat, at The Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre and in local and international galleries including St Eufemia Gallery in Venice, at Lauba Gallery in Zagreb, and at the Ceramic Context in Bornholm, Denmark.
TONY BRIFFA (1959) studied ceramics in the late seventies, obtaining a distinction diploma from Tarġa Gap School for Craftsmen. Since the early eighties, he has exhibited in a significant number of national and international juried exhibitions, drawing the attention of art critics and collectors. All along he also worked intensely in the theatre both as an actor and as a designer. He designed sets, costumes & props for major productions by playwrights as diverse as Aristophanes, Moliere, Neil Simon and Peter Shaffer. In 1995, he was awarded the Commonwealth Foundation Fellowship in Art and Crafts, which he pursued later as a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for the Arts, Hobart, University of Tasmania.
ANTHROPOS runs from 1-31 May 2021. The gallery is open from Wednesday to Saturday between 10-13 and 17-19 and Sunday between 10-12. Visit: arthallgozo.com or https://www.facebook.com/ArtHallGozo. Address: 8, triq Agius de Soldanis, Victoria, Gozo. For more information, contact Marta Obiols Fornell at email@example.com or 77051564. Visiting the exhibition will be subject to Covid-19 restrictions.