The Malta Independent 24 March 2019, Sunday

About Gozo: Water paintings by Tonio Mallia

Tuesday, 17 April 2018, 09:07 Last update: about 11 months ago

Tonio Mallia's fascination with the unspoilt environment to be found in Gozo becomes evident as one walks into the gallery where he is showing his latest series of works in watercolour. Really his relationship with the island became more intimate after the artist bought a small property in the idyllic bay of Xlendi. 

Being a person who enjoys taking long walks in the countryside, many days the artist uses his foothold in Gozo to venture out early before sunrise carrying with him his easel and painting equipment. Once arriving at his predetermined location, Tonio would set up his easel and stay there for several hours capturing the scene while gulping the fresh, unpolluted air surrounding him. Once satisfied with his day's work, the artist would then pass through Victoria for a well-earned coffee and light snack.


The highly collectable paintings on show simply ooze unbounded energy. The works are proof of the artist's mastery at handling the watercolour medium, as well as the way he composes his paintings. Mallia effectively manipulates the atmospheric qualities of light and shadow, which at times helps him to produce a quasi-abstract interpretation of the scene that interests him. Some colours appear embedded in the paper, while others seem to possess ethereal qualities, as if these are about to change their aesthetic elements. Every brush stroke is studiously placed while contrasting areas are left virginally blank, with the result that the whole becomes mesmerizingly enchanting.

The artist is always seeking new avenues and challenges. Presently he is intrigued with the etching medium, especially the acquatint technique, which is so similar to watercolour. Still Mallia reiterates that watercolour remains his preferred medium, especially "for its unforgiving, spontaneous and challenging nature".

This is the third time that Mallia is exhibiting his paintings at art..e Gallery. The gallery is situated at 1, Library Street, Victoria and is open daily between 9.15am and 12.15pm. The gallery is also open by sending a request to [email protected] or by phoning on 9980 4774. 

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