Other Geographies, Other Stories: Omenaa Mensah to exhibit thematic pavilion at Malta Biennale

The OmenaArt Foundation has introduced its thematic pavilion titled Other Geographies, Other Stories, based on the curatorial concept by Hanna Wróblewska and curated by Natalia Bradbury, with the project being scheduled for Malta’s Fort St Elmo. 

Within this unique space, artists will be utilising the mediums of sculpture, photography, video, and installation, weaving a common thread of activism through their work. Originating from Poland and Ukraine, these artists reside and create in various European locations, including Spain and the UK, and engage in international residencies. Their artistic exploration delves into various themes, such as those of migration, transformation, and the repercussions of turbulent change. Despite diverse generational and artistic backgrounds, these artists find a convergence of experiences within a shared narrative.

In an era increasingly marked by climatic, social, and political upheavals, the artists raise a fundamental question: Can we forge a new world with a different order? Their point of reference is the ancient Mediterranean civilisations, questioning whether today’s conflicts stem from the same principles that governed those civilisations – principles of struggle, exploitation, revenge, and tribalism. The selected works of women artists provide a unique perspective on other geographies, social dynamics, private mythologies, and alternate histories, challenging established narratives and inviting a ‘herstorical’ viewpoint.

The artists emphasise values such as empathy, reflection, compassion, sensual pleasure, care, and solidarity, showcasing the potential for change not only in times of peace but also in times of war. Their collective message resonates across borders – from Poland, Ukraine, Malta, and Europe, to the broader global context. Polish artist Ida Karkoszka is currently on a three-month residency in Malta, which is allowing her to fully immerse in the natural elements of the Island while creating a coral stone sculpture that forms part of the same thematic pavilion.

Omenaa Mensah, CEO of OmenaArt Foundation, shot by Kurt Paris

“OmenaArt Foundation is honoured to be part of maltabiennale.art 2024. I feel very proud because we have an opportunity to present a unique art collection to a wider audience and open a new form of artistic dialogue. For me, this event also has a personal dimension, as I will be able to fulfil one of my artistic dreams. In our pavilion, visitors will see works by young and acclaimed artists that address universal themes such as identity and community. We believe that our actions during maltabiennale.art 2024 will impact not only our audience but also the entire artistic discourse, creating an inspiring experience for an international public“, says Omenaa Mensah.

“Our participation in the maltabiennale.art 2024 coincides with the launch of an important artistic-business project in Malta that my team and I have been working on for many months. For the first time, we will invite our guests to LuginsLand of Art in Rabat, a new hub for exhibitions, discourse, and diverse artistic events” adds the CEO of OmenaArt Foundation.

Natalia Bradbury, Curator, shot by Justyna Marczewska

“Artists forming the exhibition “Other Geographies, Other Stories” represent different environments, generations, and countries, at the same time there is a Polish component that connects them. Transformations, migrations, and the lack of a defined “home” inspire them to search for their identity, nationality, and physicality, exploring the boundaries associated with being a woman and an artist. The works of Jagiełło, Dostlieva, Karpowicz, Karkoszka, and Falender reveal abstract limits outlined by patriarchy, historical trauma, social revolt, and artists’ own bodies. The exhibition’s narrative perfectly matches the character of the island – a place that has been a combination of different geographies and histories for thousands of years.” – says the curator Natalia Bradbury.

OmenaArt Foundation was established by Omenaa Mensah to lead projects in the realms of art, architecture, and design. It is engaged in philanthropic activity, such as coordination of the Grand Charity Auction, one of the most prestigious events in Europe that promotes the best Polish and international artists. The Foundation is also working on building an art collection, supporting young artists and cultural institutions. OmenaArt Foundation is also involved in the revitalisation of historic buildings in Poland, Italy, and Malta. 

maltabiennale.art 2024, set to be the cultural highlight of the year, will feature 80 artists from 23 nations, including 24 Maltese artists, and over 20 national and thematic pavilions spread across 21 historic sites in Malta and Gozo – 17 of which are under Heritage Malta’s care – the festival promises to position Malta as a hub of artistic creativity from March to May, attracting both locals and international visitors.

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