In Conversation with Andrew Borg Wirth

Andrew Borg Wirth

ARTZ ID caught up with the talented Andrew Borg Wirth to get to know more about his interdisciplinary practice. Andrew has worn the hats of designer, curator and creative director on several artistic projects locally. Whatever his role, the outcome always looks impeccable and polished. 

Andrew Borg Wirth
Andrew Borg Writh. Photo credit Marija Grech.

We’ve seen your name pop up on several artistic projects on the Maltese scene. Can you tell us about your creative practice so far?

Well, my work has been largely collaborative, as I come together with different local creatives across varying briefs; so I’ve had the opportunity to work towards very different outcomes. My training is architectural, so more often than not I intervene within space to create environments around objects, events or to frame narratives. However my work often lies at the intersection of a number of fields; I have operated as a designer on theatre productions, a curator alongside other artists, a creative director within fashion imagery and a storyteller with narratives across various projects. Over the past three years I’ve remained open towards various briefs that have allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I like to think that with my work I am as political as I can be. The pursuit of beauty alongside the deliberation of contemporary realities, values and debates is a constant part of the work I have been responsible for.

Abel bench
The Abel Bench, Andrew's own design.
I am part of a collective, bloc, that is constantly focused on investigating the process of making, alongside Mike Zerafa and Nick Theuma. My closest collaborator is Luke Azzopardi, with whom I have worked on many projects in and out of the context of his atelier. Another close collaborator over the past two years has been the team at Nidum, an architecture practice invested in public projects, where I have worked closely with colleagues at Studio Adrien Gardere, Heritage Malta and the Ministry of Gozo on the narrative for a new museum in Gozo. I have also maintained the relationship I have with Camilleri Paris Mode, where I’ve been at the heart of creative projects for years now. Other working relationships I love to keep up are with Tina Mifsud, whose second solo show we just finished, Marija Grech, Kris Micallef and Alexandra Alden. To work alongside so many young creative minds is a real privilege, and is what keeps me on edge – excited to produce, and eager to make statements in a world so obsessed with saying nothing at all.
Tree of Life for Luke Azzopardi
Andrew's set design for The Tree of Life by LUKE AZZOPARDI.

Where do you gather your inspiration from? What informs your ideas and your way of working?

I am invested in process-based work, and remain eager to expose timely projects which react to a particular contemporary moment. I haven’t published too much of my own solo work, I guess because I feel there’s so much more for. me to explore. I am quite invested in popular culture, politics and the mundane; finding them interesting reflections of our collective realities – but I’m also obsessed with nostalgia and it’s something I love to explore again and again. I remain curious about the idiosyncrasies of Malta and hope to investigate them more, whilst juxtaposing them with global tendencies and attitudes. I would say what informs my work most is the transposition of different roles, according to the context of intervention. I’m fascinated by ways that space folds onto time, to deliver ideas, sometimes through participative methods, other times spatial, visual or audiovisual phenomena. It’s the constant hybridity of the tools which we use to communicate and the adapting roles we serve that I really like to think will form whatever practice I am developing.
Artwork for Ferraggio.

Can you share with us any projects you are currently working?

I’m now pursuing a Masters at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London in Culture, Criticism and Curation – so that takes most of my time; however I am also maintaining some interesting curatorial work with artists, so the results of those processes will be revealed eventually. My most imminent project is Dido & Aeneas at Teatru Manoel; where I have designed the set for Denise Mulholland’s reworking of Purcell’s original. It’s exhilarating to work on productions that imbue the contemporary within so classic a tale and so often reproduced an operatic work – so I’m very excited to see the outcomes of this process on stage. 
For Tina Mifsud
Tina Mifsud's second solo show curated by Andrew Borg Wirth, photo credit Anthony Mizzi.

Finally, what are your aspirations for the future?

I would say I aspire to continue exploring ways that different roles intersect and overlap, and to constantly redefine the part I play in projects. I hope to collaborate with more local and international artists, but I also really would like to create a collaborative show that surrounds a collective statement by Malta’s young artists; creating a bit of a space for critique and dialogue.

Follow Andrew on ARTZ ID to stay updated with his latest and upcoming work.

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