The Malta Independent 26 February 2024, Monday
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Yearning to belong – collective exhibition at The Mill

Sunday, 11 February 2024, 08:45 Last update: about 16 days ago

The Gabriel Caruana Foundation is launching Long to belong, its third collective exhibition of the Spring Artistic Programme for Emerging Artists 2022 to 2024. This collective exhibition, featuring the works of Mono2Mass, Giola Cassar and Aprille Zammit, and Sephora Schembri, is conceptually developed and curated by the Gabriel Caruana Foundation's co-creative director and curator Elyse Tonna.

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The exhibition is being held at The Mill, Birkirkara and is supported by Arts Council Malta. Tonna describes Long to belong, as "a journey into the intricate tapestry of human connection, guided by the creative minds of Mono2Mass, Giola Cassar and Aprille Zammit, and Sephora Schembri'.' The exhibition prompts a reflective dialogue, encouraging visitors to contemplate their sense of belonging in the complex reality of today's world. Tonna explains that "in a world marked by detachment and polarisation, Long to belong beckons us to explore the profound realms of the home, the vernacular, the familiar and the community."

Cassar and Zammit, visual artists immersed in the exploration of identity and nature, bring their unique perspectives to Long to belong. The artists have shared studio space for the past three years, during which they have spent many hours discussing and critiquing their individual and collaborative works. Cassar, through the lens of photography, captures the remarkable beauty found in everyday, ordinary things. Zammit delves into screen printing and film photography, amplifying the depth of their collaborative works. They have been brought together by their appreciation for the remarkable beauty found in everyday ordinary things, be it in nature or in life itself. They describe their collaborative work for the exhibition as a means "to delve into the intricate balance between seeking solace in solitude and nurturing a sense of belonging within a community, reflecting on a world where both the individual and the collective hold crucial roles in human existence".

Mono2Mass, a contemporary art collective comprising FBRZ VLL and Jean Churoe, embarks on a playful exploration of modern art conventions. Mono2Mass revealed their desire of "incorporating new media such as sound and site-specific installation through which we reflect the dynamics of the internet era and its impact on WWWorldwide culture".

Schembri, a Master's graduate in architecture, weaves her background in conservation studies into her artistic practice. Drawn to local natural materials and traditional techniques, Schembri creates a profound connection to her homeland, Malta. Schembri describes her work for Long to belong as an attempt to "rekindle a connection to Malta's neolithic past, where the land was sacred and people were attuned to cyclic patterns in the sky". Her work was recently recognised by the Malta Crafts Foundation through the award Premju Ġieħ l-Artiġjanat Malti - Student Maker of the Year. Last year, she was also recognised for her work in printmaking intertwined with the art of weaving at the Malta School of Art in collaboration with Aġenzija Żgħażagħ as part of IdeArti II, where she was chosen as the winner and awarded a scholarship at the Salzburg Summer Academy of Fine Arts.

The Spring Artistic Programme by the Gabriel Caruana Foundation, which is designed to nurture emerging artists, has three interconnected strands: the Creative Process led by Elyse Tonna; the Artistic Programming, overseen by Raffaella Zammit and the Engagement Process, guided by Martina Camilleri. Together, they form a robust support structure for artists, fostering growth, collaboration and community engagement. Mark your calendars, invite your friends, and immerse yourself in the beauty of art and culture as Long to belong unfolds its narrative, inviting us all to reflect on our sense of belonging in an interconnected world.

The exhibition runs until 1 March at The Mill - Art, Culture and Crafts Centre, Birkirkara. For more information visit https://gabrielcaruanafoundation.org


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