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Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta - Malta (2021)

Artists: Glen Calleja and Lori Sauer
Curator, Exhibition Designer & Project Manager: Elyse Tonna
Writer: Clare Azzopardi
Sound Artist: Matyou Galea
Videography: Karl Andrew Micallef

Translations: Albert Gatt
Photography: Giola Cassar
Editing: Claire Zerafa
Book Design: Brendon Gauci
Production Team: Aaron Bezzina, Jamie Barbara
Graphic Design (Exhibition Design): Karl Tonna

Supported by Arts Council Malta and Spazju Kreattiv

we’ve met before.

our stories change. 

we are made. 

we are yours. 

we are not just toys. 


we listen. we speak.

we speak. we listen.

We’ve definitely met before. 

SURA is an exhibition of handmade art dolls. Born or made? Perhaps both.


Origins, parentage,  immediate and extended families, long lost cousins, migrants, mentors, idols, familiar and unfamiliar objects:  this is what SURA is about. 

Dolls are witnesses. They have seen themselves being made. They have seen us making them. 

Dolls are companions. Inanimate or spiritual companions handed down from one generation to another. They create bonds. They carry values and a family’s identity. 

The SURA dolls tell fluid narratives in an attempt to map the edge of the worlds they come from. They were made (or created) in their parents’ likeness but now their individual traits have started to emerge. Some are moody, some are funny, some are fools, some are wise. Some loud, foul-mouthed, intense. Some keep to themselves. Some loners. Some prefer the pack. 

SURA is an exhibition of incomplete and impossible conversations. Each doll tells its story in its own language. Stories are kinfolk, pregnant with memories and aspirations, fleeting thoughts, foggy and forgotten experiences. Their power is transcendent. 

As we lean in to hear their cries, whispers and songs, we listen

The SURA book is available for purchase at EUR25 (inc. VAT). Get in touch for more details.

photos by Giola Cassar

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