The Malta Independent 25 September 2020, Friday

‘Unsung Heroes’ Exhibition by Frederick Gingell at Camilleri Paris Mode

Malta Independent Sunday, 6 May 2012, 00:00 Last update: about 7 years ago

Frederick Gingell’s dominant characteristic of his paintings is colour.  He developed a unique style and has established himself as a portrait and figurative artist. Although he studied art at a very young age, it remained dormant for years.  It resurfaced 11 years ago when he returned to the School of Arts, and he furthered his art skills under the tutorship of Harry Alden.

‘Unsung Heroes’ (or fis-skiet) is his third solo exhibition, which is running at Camilleri Paris Mode in Rabat until 25 May.

This collection is a dedication to common people. Some struggled in life to leave a better world behind them, others endured without bitterness the burden of life. The personages are a representation of a cross-section of people who my father admires and, somehow, influenced unconsciously the outlook on life. 

None of them devoted their efforts to reach the high echelons of society, they simply strove to serve in silence. The idea of the theme came to mind while Frederick was driving home and listening to an interview on the radio with Professor Oliver Friggieri. He was relating about acquaintances that touched a chord in his early life.  At one point he termed them as “veri eroj” (true heroes).  It is all narrated in his autobiography “fjuri li ma jinxfux”.

What Oliver Friggieri stated in words, Frederick illustrated on canvas.  Of course, he did not choose people Prof Friggieri describes but, rather, he painted those people he knows who reminded him of his childhood, youth and adulthood; humble people who also touched a chord in my life; who lived in silence without blowing their own trumpet.

Some he have not seen for over 50 years, and the memory of their face and appearance is somewhat blurred. However, his intention is twofold - to recall their memory for who they are, and to stimulate the viewers to think of those people who made a difference in their own lives.

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