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The Mill Art, Culture and Crafts Centre, Birkirkara - Malta (2021)

Artists: Noura Abdelhafidh, Stephania Micallef &
Stefan Spiteri

Curator: Elyse Tonna
GCF Programme Manager: Raffaella Zammit

part of the Gabriel Caruana Foundation SPRING (v1.1) Artistic Programme for Emerging Artists 2021

curatorial note

The need to move is a basic vital function of living organisms. Moving with purpose from one place to another forms the basis of the natural rhythms of life on Earth. Movement with intent to explore defines humanity, encapsulating both our physical and mental explorations. The need to transcribe these awe inspiring explorations, be they mundane or giant leaps for humanity, has accompanied us for millenia. 


Revisiting familiar territory, creating a meditative space, or reorganizing chaos entail different types of movements. Journeys of sorts; whether undergoing physical shifting across borders, or whether experiencing this transience subconsciously allowing the hand to interpret the fluctuations and juxtapositions of inherent thoughts or distinct shapes, forms and colours. 


As you move through SPRING v1.1 the distinct moods and state of mind of Noura Abdelhafidh, Stephania Micallef and Stefan Spiteri are reflected  through various materials and techniques. The works are symbolic of the unique personality of each artist involved, a reflection into their inner fleeting territories. The material or situation governing the direction and formulation of their work. 


Every fold, every stroke or line, whether aggressive or swift, precise or rugged, encapsulates emotions embraced within. Whether faced with the joy of a serendipitous Tunisian breakfast that moves Noura to mark the shared moment in her visual diary. Or Stephania's search for a meditative space which propels her to create delicate yet strong representations of balanced untimely landscapes. Or Stefan's creative and skillful moulding together of random upcycled materials subconsciously well-composed to create unique compositions of pattern and colour.


Occasionally we take for granted the power of the hand to maneuver materials and tools, acting as media to transcribe and externalise the subconscious. Additionally, we have been engulfed through consumption of technology and capitalist mechanisms which override our capacities to divulge in simple processes such as drawing and moulding of materials to serve as recollections of experiences. Capture, upload repeat, a million times over. The need to chase an experience to find ourselves in some foreign land. Discarding material, without second thoughts. These actions make us prisoners of our own devices. Immobile.

photos by Elyse Tonna

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