Interview with Thomas Scerri on his Exhibition ‘Rooftops’

Thomas Scerri

Your most recent body of work addresses the isolation and confinement you experienced during the pandemic. Can you tell us more about these themes?

During the pandemic everyone resorted to staying indoors to avoid the spread. Being ‘forced’ not to interact and engage socially with others has been mentally challenging for many. COVID-19 has also brought with it many uncertainties resulting in increased anxieties and depressive disorders. Being confined in a densely urbanised environment does not help in any way to alleviate these conditions. On the contrary, the rampant construction happening around us, that has been going on even during lockdown, increases such issues while diminishing the few open spaces left that are known to ease out anxieties and improve mental wellbeing.

The work on show consists of 20 paintings and 15 sculptures. Can you elaborate on the choice of material, as well as the material context and physical surroundings that inspired it?

The sculptures and paintings were done in parallel; both influencing each other. The straight lines pertaining to the concrete structures in our local urban environment were implemented within the compositions as were the pale hues of the same buildings. Texture plays an important role in the paintings as it mirrors the roughness of plastered walls as is the choice of materials. Reclaimed construction material was integrated in the sculptures and construction material was also embodied in the paintings to add context to the work. The substantial abstraction of urban landscapes resulted in a body of work that took on a minimalist approach in contrast to the nature of its derivative, thus creating order from chaos.

Are you already working on other exciting projects that you can share with us? What should we expect from you in the near future?

I have been working on a project that is purely abstract, which also fuses drawing and sculpture but has been postponed due to other commitments. I might continue to work on it now that the ‘Rooftops’ project has been concluded. In the meantime, there is also another project in the pipeline which is a collaboration with Matthew Schembri.

Follow Thomas Scerri on ARTZ ID to stay updated with his latest projects.

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