‘INDOORS – FROM WHERE I AM’ – New Valletta Exhibition Tackles Tales Of Introspection

Living in such times amidst the pandemic has brought about exceptional hardship. ‘Social distancing’ was a term that no one would have imagined would become so worn out in our vocabulary. With people having to adapt to change, Valletta art gallery DESKO has given an extraordinary opportunity to sixteen artists to share their realities during this time, for a three-week long collective exhibition, running between the 11th of November until the 2nd of December 2020.
Daniel Borg Girl on Chair
Daniel Borg, 'Girl on Chair'
‘INDOORS- FROM WHERE I AM’ was sparked from an open call put out on Facebook by the gallery curator during the lockdown period in Malta which began in March 2020. The call for artworks was intended to serve as an outlet for local artists, to inspire, and to rebuild hope that affairs will return back to normal, and that the arts will be revived once more. Eight months later, the selected artworks are set to be premiered to the public for what stands to be a reflective and surprising exhibition. Works from both established names and previously un-exhibited artists made the cut, creating an eclectic arrangement that hopes to broaden the local artistic community.
Ian Kamilleri, 'Bedroom'
This mixed-media exhibition that mimics the Salon-style hang will have its audience feeling nostalgic. Its interiors resemble a cosy household through the many adornments found within the setting, which makes us reminisce over moments of coming together that previously would have been taken for granted. Through the range of works that delve into the theme of quarantine, an artwork that will make you stop in your tracks is that of Maltese artist Ryan Falzon, ‘Plants my Friends Grew in Quarantine’. The title itself suggests hopefulness and growth in times of distress. Falzon exposes the simplicity in the beauty of nature through this Gauguin-like work, with touches of his brilliant expressive hand.

Newly established artists will also have their works displayed at the exhibition space. Maltese artist Ian Kamilleri presents to us a series of intimate, collaged cut outs from vintage publications. On detailed inspection, one will be left feeling puzzled and intrigued by its subject matter’s contradiction; a sort of romanticism of the past in synchronicity with the grotesque cut-out of heads.
Illy M., 'Lost in my Bedroom'
As one wanders around the exhibition space, it will be difficult not to notice the repetition of the depiction of the human figure. The way in which the mediums are used by the artists – whether it be line drawings, watercolour or photography – all give off diverse meanings; from the illusion of freedom and hope to the very meaning of boredom, laziness, and oftentimes loneliness. Reclined bodies, rigid bodies, expressive faces or no faces at all.
Justine Ellul, 'Milk and Hope'
The homely set-up of the exhibition alongside the mixture of intense emotions of the works will leave you either exasperated or sentimental. ‘INDOORS- FROM WHERE I AM’ will force us to reflect on both our personal perspectives and our collective realities.

Participating artists: Johanna Barthet, Daniel Borg, Fabio BorgJulia Borg, Jeni Caruana, Karen Caruana, Sabrina Debono, Justine EllulRyan Falzon, Karl Fröman, Ian KamilleriIlly M.,  Jose’ Micallef, Daniel MuscatDaria Troitskaia & Jade Zammit.

For more information, visit DESKO’s facebook page or ARTZ ID Event page The exhibition is open Tuesday – Friday 11am – 2pm & 4pm – 7pm, Saturdays 11am – 3pm. Article written by Lola Bonnici.

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