The Malta Independent 4 June 2020, Thursday

Anna Galea’s exhibition at MSA

Sunday, 16 February 2020, 10:19 Last update: about 5 months ago

More than 20 extra-large watercolour paintings by renowned artist Anna Galea are being exhibited at the Malta Society of Arts until the end of February

The Malta Society of Arts' exhibition Still Stills by Anna Galea opened last Thursday at its Art Galleries in Valletta. More than 20 extra-large watercolour paintings are being exhibited throughout this month.

With the exception of two medium-sized works, the exhibition features what the artist calls "XXL" paintings. Such a large size is highly unusual for the medium of watercolours where the more commonly available paper sizes tend to lead to much smaller-sized works than the ones being exhibited. The acquiring of the large papers involved researching papermakers in Europe and a process of stretching the paper to obtain the desired texture.


Asked why she chose this specific medium, Anna Galea explained her process: "As artists working in this medium know well, large-sized watercolour paintings present a tougher challenge, however, I wanted to invite the viewer to immerse themselves into my larger-than-life subjects. Zooming in, I stylise and dramatise still life - sometimes with subtle and not-so-subtle connotations."

Galea's fascination with watercolour started when she began to take painting more seriously. "With little toddlers running around me, watercolour was the safest medium to use. As my children grew older, I went back to acrylics and oils, but I found these mediums did not give me the transparency, immediacy, fluidity and vibrancy that the watercolour medium presents. Furthermore, I find that watercolour can spark a certain magic into compositions with 'happy accidents' and broad, daring washes."

Some of the paintings in Still Stills have been previously exhibited in New York and in Washington, while others are being shown here for the first time. While she has exhibited collectively at MSA on several occasions, this is Galea's first solo show at the venue. University lecturer Dr Charlene Vella has helped curate the exhibition.

Entrance is free. The exhibition will remain open until 28 February.

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