The Malta Independent 22 May 2019, Wednesday

Lines of Flight – metal art by Marie Louise Kold at St James Cavalier

Malta Independent Friday, 7 March 2014, 10:29 Last update: about 6 years ago

Scandinavian artist Marie Louise Kold is exhibiting her metal art at the upper galleries of St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity in Valletta between April 5 and May 25 of this year. The exhibition is called “Lines of Flight”.

For this internationally renowned artist, it all started when experimenting with copper plate printing, back in a Lund Art School, in 1997. That is when shediscovered the material that would become an intrinsic part of who she was to become as a professional artist.That material was metal, and the story she tells about it, is how she came across the copper plate with which she had printedmonths earlier, and was fascinated by the patina the copper had developed. She was eager to see if that change would also manifest itself in printing again with the plate, but was disappointed to find that the print looked no different than the one produced before. So she stopped copper plate printing altogether and adopted the metal itself as her primary art material.

Since then,and especially since she started working full time with her art in 2001, she has worked with copper, brass and bronze, and has created a unique set of techniques that, in the words of the invitation to her upcoming exhibition, “imbues the metals with an emotional charge that turns them into art … creating a dynamic mixture of fantasy, passion and colour mutated by the light”.

Her art is veryin demand in her native Scandinavia. Marie Louise Koldis Danish, but has lived in Sweden most of her life. In both these countries her exhibitions and studio events are greatly frequented, and her art can be found in homes, offices, companies and other institutions the world over.

Though she works with metal, her art is in the main the sort that is hung on walls, though there is a three-dimensionality to it that comes from the structuresshe creates. Also, she uses acids to etch text in a lot of her works. This text is not intended to be read, but to be enjoyed as a visual element in the art. The texts are quite often in Danish by herfavourite author Karen Blixen, though words by Hans Christian Andersen are also there, along with a few others in English and, more recently, in Maltese.

Through the application of chemicals, she creates patinas on the metal. These result, among others, in vibrant reds, greens, blues, ochres and ambers, each complementing the other and forming an aesthetic that is abstract, but very pleasing to the eye. Sometimes she paints photo-realistic figures on the metal itself. At other times she creates large portraits made of thousands of individually patinated squares of bronze, resulting in works that are both abstract and photographic at the same time. Portraits of this type of her favourite Danish authors will be part of the Valletta exhibition.

Her decision to exhibit in Malta stems from the fact that she has been living here part of the time for nearly three years, and finds the island and its history and architecture not only fascinating, but also greatly inspiring to her art.  About what she feels about Malta, she says, “I'm in love with the colors of this island. I love the many shades of the limestone that the lightbrings out and how the sun affects old painted doors over time. I am inspired by the strong feeling of history that is constantly present, and captivated by so many old buildings. I find inspiration both in the micro and in the macro... I love the beautiful patterns of the hajttas-sejjieh and the dramatic coastline at Dingli. The language (which I'm learning, though slowly) intrigues me and the people here so often overwhelm me with their warmth and generosity. A lot of what I see and feel in Malta finds its way into my art in different ways.”

She goes on to say that this exhibition is her way of giving a little bit back to the Maltese for what they and their country have given her. Her art has actually already been present in the Maltese islands. She created the book tower installation “Valanga ta’ Kliem” at the 2013 Malta Book Fair that was appreciated by thousands of visitors to the Mediterranean Conference.

DrGorgMallia, curator of the exhibition, in a poetic essay about Marie Louise Kold’s art written for this exhibition, has this to say about one type of impact created by her art: “Reflectivesurfaceschangewithlight. Eachworkof art is many; eachviewpointimpacts in different ways. Eachwork touches the heart and mind manytimes, in mannersthatdifferthroughmood and association, and the deep passion the naturalpatterninginstigates.”

The exhibition is a large one, which fills all of the upper galleries at St James Cavalier and represents a lot of the artistic output that has made Marie Louise Kold’s art so popular in her native Scandinavia. This is definitely an exhibition that should not be missed.

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