The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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‘Emerging Dimensions’: A solo exhibition of abstract paintings by Lewis Zammit

Sunday, 18 February 2024, 09:00 Last update: about 3 months ago

Lewis Zammit is a Maltese art educator and artist who lives and works in Mellieha. He is currently exhibiting a new series of abstract paintings in the Palm Court Lounge at The Phoenicia Malta.

The exhibition titled Emerging Dimensions emerged from perceptively studying his surroundings while continually questioning elements that are basic to our lives which extend to more complex matters. Zammit is of the belief that "in the quiet space of our minds, we navigate in our universe of emotions".

In fact, it is such thoughts and emotions that one can see being translated into his unique, non-representational paintings. These abstract pieces possess a main preoccupation with space, and the contradiction between form and space, void vs solid. He believes that space can become form, and that form can be part of space. This was the starting point for each composition, where the forms are as important as what may at first appear to be empty spaces in these paintings. These "spaces" are more pronounced in some paintings than in others, and provide a lot of significance in terms of meaning, but they are also important compositionally.

Ill-defined boundaries executed in the sfumato technique intentionally blur the division between these forms and spaces, perhaps being indicative of all the unknowns.

While this collection of paintings are recognisable as being by Zammit, they are perhaps more subdued in tone and colour than those exhibited in previous exhibitions. Earthy tones and cold colours predominate, merging across the oil on panel paintings as undulating lines that are sometimes more bold than others.

Each painting is primed before the oil glazes are applied. All of the paintings are executed with a number of layers, but some paintings carry more depth in the physical sense since Lewis often applies texture to the paintings that he builds himself. These more rough surfaces contrast to some paintings that are intentionally smooth.

Painting for Zammit is an essential part of his daily life. It is a form of meditation. He states that "to explore the inner universe is to embark on a journey of self-discovery".

The depth of his thoughts emerge from questioning our place in the universe, and also questioning yourself on a day-to-day basis. This assists him in remaining grounded while also appreciating that we are but a mere speck in this vast universe.

The truth is that Lewis' paintings may appear to represent outer space, yet nature is the starting point to all of his paintings. Nature is then transformed to create unique compositions.

Ultimately, Lewis is not one to talk much about himself and his art. He will allow each and every one who visits his exhibition to be open to their own interpretation of what lies before them.

Emerging Dimensions is curated by Dr Charlene Vella and is open throughout the month of March in the Palm Court Lounge, The Phoenicia Malta.

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