The Malta Independent 26 May 2024, Sunday
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Malta welcomes Russian painter and her distinctive flower paintings

Sunday, 14 April 2024, 21:14 Last update: about 2 months ago

Born in Germany to Russian parents, Julia Borg has made Malta her home. She is an engineering graduate whose career also saw her use her artistic flair in interior design while living and working in Moscow. She then made the bold decision to embark on a new journey, one fuelled by her need for a change. She moved to Malta for a year to take a break and in order to learn the English language, and her fate was decided. She is now exhibiting her paintings in what is her first solo exhibition.

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Julia brings her own baggage and knowledge of landscapes and floral works which have become a vibrant celebration of cultural fusions. Viewers will be immersed in these paintings of larger-than-life blooms, masterfully brought to life by this talented painter. The paintings can be viewed nestled amidst the decor of the bright Palm Court Lounge at The Phoenicia Malta.

Settling in the picturesque archipelago of Malta, she has since dedicated herself to honing her craft. Having previously studied art at different stages in her life, she then started focussing more on painting when she decided to take up what was her true passion: art. By doing this, she changed the course of her life and subsequently, of her career.

Julia has never looked back since. She feels that the Mediterranean has not only become her home, but it is central to her artistic production and offers her plenty of inspiration. The vibrant hues of the Maltese islands are directly reflected in her work, as is amply seen in her choice of palette.

In this exhibition, titled "In Bloom", Julia is exhibiting a collection of paintings that were executed in 2023 when she started planning her first solo exhibition. This collection stems from experiments that she undertook during the Covid-19 pandemic.

These paintings take the beauty of flowers as their starting point, which are then examined by Julia, and executed in an idiosyncratic, semi-abstracted way. They are also blown up to a very large scale. Her aim is plainly obvious: she wants us, her viewers, to revel in the splendour of the beauty and colour of these oversized flowers. Julia is inviting viewers to see the world through her eyes. Each canvas serves as a testament to her reverence for the beauty found in simplicity, where in this case, a dainty flower commands our presence.

These paintings that are executed in mixed media are in fact expressively executed like a tapestry of vibrant hues and broad brush strokes with a fresh, bold style that make up the petals and stems, and a broad palette composed of a kaleidoscope of colours with a predominant use of purples and pinks. Paint is applied in layers and often in impasto to create more texture and interest to the work.

Julia says that "Through my paintings, I seek to capture the beauty and the essence of joy and wonder that blooms within every petal, inviting viewers to embrace the beauty that surrounds them."

But there is more to this exhibition than the beauty of flowers that she would like us to focus our attention on. For her, flowers are a symbol of womanhood and also of maternity, which is very personal to her own experience. A flower is often seen as a delicate object, yet it is resilient; in nature a flower has its lifespan and it blooms when in its prime.

To Julia, "blooming" holds deliberate significance, symbolising the blossoming that occurs when love, equilibrium, and happiness converge". This is "the essence" of what to her is "being a woman".

Just last March, Julia represented her home country, Russia, in an International art exhibition that was organised by Art Connects Women in Dubia that is in its seventh edition. It was held under the patronage of UNESCO and organised by ZeeArts Gallery with more than 100 female participants from different countries. This is organised every year to celebrate International Women's Day.

This exhibition is a testament to the power of creativity and the boundless possibilities that arise when we dare to pursue our passions.

'In Bloom' is curated by Dr Charlene Vella and will be open throughout the month of April at the Palm Court Lounge, The Phoenicia Malta. 


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