rajt ma rajtx ... naf li rajt
Critical Essay by Elyse Tonna for Matthew Attard's exhibition: rajt ma rajtx ... naf li rajt (2021). VC03 is a book showcasing the 2021 exhibition programme of Valletta Contemporary with contributions by various authors/curators
KIN, who we are and where we belong (EN) / sura ta' nies (MT)
A book for SURA (2021). Stories and Poems by Clare Azzopardi. Contributions by Elyse Tonna, Glen Calleja and Lori Sauer. Translations by Albert Gatt. Photos by Giola Cassar. Proof-Reading by Claire Zerafa. Designed by Brendon Gauci
fuse (2021): collection of research and process-based articles related to the thematics and interventions by Elyse Tonna
A book for fuse (2021). Written by Elyse Tonna. Photos by Elisa von Brockdorff, Maria Galea, Rakel Vella and Elyse Tonna. Edited by Ann Dingli. Designed by Elyse Tonna and the Valletta Cultural Agency. Produced by the Valletta Cultural Agency
30@20: Looking Back Looking Forward (2021): Celebrating 30 Years The Mill Art, Culture and Crafts Centre
From the Archives: A reflection. and The Mill Today: A conversation February 2021
A book for 30@20 project by the Gabriel Caruana Foundation. Contributions by Raffaella Zammit, Dr Nikki Petroni, Elyse Tonna. Designed by Mighty Box Ltd.
what is 'ħaġarna'?
A book for ħaġarna (2019). Contributions by Elyse Tonna, Dr Irene Biolchini, Prof. Vicki Ann Cremona, Dr Sandro Debono, Dr Marko Stamenkovic and introductions by Hon. Dr Ian Borg, Hon. Dr Owen Bonnici, Hon. Dr Justyne Caruana, Hon. Dr Anton Refalo, Nicoline Sagona, Joe Cordina and Dr Christian Zammit. Designed by Elyse Tonna
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.