Visual Arts

The visual arts programme was bursting with new talents, new collaborations and artists making their return to Malta’s contemporary art scene with collective and solo exhibitions. 

The season included two major exhibitions this year: LEIVA | Anger is a Lazy Form of Grief and Sea Sunset Moon: Variations on Solitude. LEIVA | Anger is a Lazy Form of Grief curated by Rosa Martinez and Irene Biolchini with artist Austin Camilleri, returning with a solo exhibition after more than ten years, took inspiration from Western art history, popular culture, and power image traditions to explore the tension between the material and the digital, the personal and public by layering techniques and modalities. On the other hand, Sea Sunset Moon: Variations on Solitude explored solitude, in a collective exhibition which sought to find an answer, however tentative, to the question of what it truly means to be alone at a time when our routines have been forcibly changed due to the pandemic.

Spazju Kreattiv was also involved in many collaborations throughout its yearly programme. REFRACTION, with Allied Rainbow Communities,  opened our season with a variety of art mediums from local and international artists in a  celebration of what is usually unseen, forgotten about, or misunderstood, as well as a recognition that the ongoing fight for LGBTIQ+ rights is global. 

Malta – Tunis – Marseille by Katel Delia dealt with the topic of migration through the artist’s family story. As it echoed the life-story of many migrants, the exhibition asked: where can you find a shelter when your native country does not accept your return? 

Later on in 2021, Spaces in Suspension, showcased the documentation work done by the prominent  photographers Joseph S. Smith and Therese Debono of the ruins of Grand Hotel Verdala. The project featured as well memories of people who worked and experienced the building in its heyday, and memorabilia items from the site.

The literary giant Oliver Friggieri and local artist Isabelle Borg were both commemorated in two solo exhibitions. Mogħdija ta’ Tifkiriet – Tislima lil Poeta was an ode to Oliver Friggieri’s notable episodes from his life through his writings, and never-before-seen illustrations that gave a look into Friggieri’s thought process and personal upbringing. While Isabelle’s body of work was presented in an exhibition titled The Streak – Isabelle Borg Retrospective. This exhibition showcased for the first time a large collection of her most prominent paintings, sketchbooks, landscapes and early work. 

The Ordinary Lives of Women, curated by Margerita Pulè, recognised the value of everyday women, and women’s contribution to humanity. It acknowledged the trillions of woman-hours that are spent daily around the world in undervalued tasks of cleaning, caring and maintenance and the exhibition also recognised that ‘ordinary’ women have been pushed to extraordinary acts when their rights and lives – and those of their societies – have come under threat. 

Our programme also included a variety of other exhibitions such as the video installation La Pietá by Ruben Zahra, which was postponed from last year due to the pandemic, Migratory Birds in Malta: A Street Art Guide showcasing work by James Micallef Grimaud, in collaboration with the Malta Street Art Collective and BirdLife Malta, the interdisciplinary project Such Stuff as Worlds are Made On, The Trail Valletta by Allura, the multidisciplinary initiative Documents of Socially Engaged Art by head curator Raphael Vella and involving 6 universities from Malta, the Czech Republic, Hungary, England, Sweden and Finland and 2 civil society organisations from Portugal and Italy and Past Continuous – an archival multimedia project by Italian creative Alex Urso with sound artist Yasmin Kuymizakis and Magna Żmien in collaboration with ŻiguŻajg Festival.

The international representation was also evident in projects such as the Night of Ideas : Creating Together installation, in collaboration with the French Embassy in Malta, Ambassade de France à Malte, The Alliance Française de Malte-Méditerranée and Institut Française; the touring exhibition Faces of Europe by Carsten Sander, exhibiting portraits from all across Europe including portraits from Malta, supported by the German Embassy in Valletta; and lastly, an exhibition on Art and AI, first of its kind in Malta – SAAI Factory – Malta Editions

Palettes, the result of Katarina Radovic’s Artist’s Residency with Spazju Kreattiv, showcased her exploration of Maltese identity, as a small, densely inhabited and multicultural society, seen through food (its preparation, presentation and consumption), expressed in the form of an installation of photographs and texts. 

There was also an exhibition at the end of the season by Matthew Schembri and Thomas Scerri and curated by Vince Briffa. The artists, brought together by the Shifting Contexts prize given in 2018, sought to address dualities such as life and death, presence and absence, the visible and the hidden, the tangible and the intangible and focus on the ‘in-between’ states.

The programme also had a number of partnerships with other national entities meant to reach a more diverse demographic. The second edition of Il-Kartolina tal-Milied under the patronage of the wife of the Prime Minister Dr Lydia Abela brought together a range of artworks and Christmas christmas cards created by young people all over Malta and Gozo. For the Carnival period, together with Festivals Malta, our spaces hosted a Costume Exhibition showcasing the talent of many production houses participating in Carnival competitions, and also a photographic exhibition, Through The Eyes of A Friend by German photographer Frank Kirchner. 

Staples in our programme such as Shifting Contexts II in collaboration with Aġenzija Żgħażagħ brought together 8 artists and 1 collective from different areas of practice to respond to the theme of ‘change’, successfully hosting an exhibition in Space C at the end of the 6- month research practice. And, lastly, the MCAST ICA Festival, a celebration of creativity by upcoming artists that took over our spaces throughout the month of July. From art, to theatre, media, and graphic design amongst others. Alongside these exhibitions, a collaboration with SACES was also established and Spazju Kreattiv hosted the first ever Architecture Student EXPO in October. This included designs, sketches, digital graphics and architectural models by students studying in the Faculty of Built Environment at the University of Malta. 

This vast programme was supported by the Art Additives series where the creative teams had the opportunity to discuss their process, while also linking the exhibition themes with topical subjects. These continued to be live streamed and recorded, shared on our social media and website. The creation of online galleries continued to give access to those who could not attend physically at the centre continuing our efforts to make art accessible. 






artist talks

TitleStart DateEnd Date Venue/sCreative TeamCollaborators
Muże X. Exhibition2021-09-09 00:00:002021-10-20 00:00:00Space B
REFRACTION2021-09-10 00:00:002021-10-24 00:00:00Space CArtists
Samar Hazboun, Leart Rama, HUSS, Kristian Chalakov, Mohsin Shafi, Elle Conant & Roux Noel, Imad Zoukanni, Roxman Gatt, Robert Andy Coombs, Dirk H Wilms, Lin Zhipeng (aka. No 223), Daphne Sammut, Agataukoxxx, Noah Fabri, Lau Baldo & م ح س ن

Bobb Attard
Allied Rainbow Communities, Soura Film Festival, iLab Photo
Malta – Tunis – Marseille 2021-09-17 00:00:002021-10-31 00:00:00Space AArtist
Katel Delia

Prof. Raphael Vella
Arts Council Malta, Ambassade de France à Malte, iLab Photo
Architecture Student EXPO 20212021-09-30 00:00:002021-10-31 00:00:00Atrium & Upper Atrium, Tunnel and Meditation AreaSACES (Society of Architecture and Civil Engineering Students)MASP Awards 2021, Planning Authority
Spaces in Suspension2021-10-29 00:00:002021-12-12 00:00:00Space CArtists
Joseph P. Smith
Therese Debono

Prof. Vince Briffa
Arts Council Malta
The Trail of Valletta2021-10-30 00:00:002021-10-31 00:00:00Theatre FoyerAlluraParliament of Malta, La Valette Philharmonic Society Band Club, China Cultural Centre, Malta School of Art, Valletta Design Cluster, Russian Centre for Science and Culture, German-Maltese Circle, Iniala
Mogħdija ta’ Tifkiriet – Tislima lil Poeta 2021-11-04 00:00:002021-12-05 00:00:00Atrium Approach Curator
Daniel Azzopardi
Past Continuous 2021-11-04 00:00:002021-12-05 00:00:00Space AARTIST
Alex Urso

Yasmin Kuymizakis

Margerita Pulè
ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children & Young People, Valletta Design Cluster
Migratory Bird Handbook: A Street Art Guide 2021-12-02 00:00:002022-01-16 00:00:00Space BARTIST
James Micallef Grimaud a.k.a TWITCH

Rachel Formosa
Documents of Socially Engaged Art2021-12-10 00:00:002022-01-23 00:00:00Space AArts as Social Sculpture (AMASS)European Unionís Horizon 2020
Kartolini tal-Milied2021-12-16 00:00:002022-01-09 00:00:00Kartolini tal-MiliedARTISTS
School Students
The Streak – Isabelle Borg retrospective 2021-12-17 00:00:002022-01-16 00:00:00Space CCURATOR
Lisa Gwenn in collaboration with Creative Director Maria Galea
The Isabelle Borg Collection and Marie Gallery 5
Through the Eyes of a Friend2022-01-20 00:00:002022-03-06 00:00:00Space BPHOTOGRAPHER
Frank Kirchner

Antoine Farrugia
Malta Carnival 2022, Festivals Malta
Such Stuff as Worlds are Made On2022-01-21 00:00:002022-02-20 00:00:00Space CCURATORS
Antje Liemann
Letta Shtohryn
Margerita PulèARTISTS
Anna Dumitriu & Alex May
Bettina Hutschek
Antje Liemann
Kornelia Remø Klokk
Maja Renn
Tabita Rezaire
Letta Shtohryn
Jenna Sutela
Rakel Vella & Jamie Barbara, Emanuel Polidano, Jacob Saliba
Arts Council Malta, the German Embassy Valletta and Pico Interactive, Inc
Carnival Costumes Exhibition2022-01-27 00:00:002022-03-06 00:00:00Atrium and Upper Atrium CARNIVAL PARTICIPANTS

Category A:

Company – Beqqu Stiefnu Carnival Company, Leaders – Stiefnu Debattista and Paul Chircop

Company – Tad-Deheb Carnival Company in Collaboration with Continental Cars, Leaders – Chris Aquilina and Marvic Aquilina

Company – Titti Carnival Company, Leaders – Raymond Mallia and Mark Mallia

Category B:

Company – Għaqda Kultura u Armar Maria Annunziata Ħal Tarxien, Leaders – Clinton Abela Galea

Company – The Dancing Angels , Leaders – Heidi Camillari and Alan Bianco Galea

Company – Shake Dencers Żejtun, Leaders – Christian Caruana

Category C:

Company – Tarxien Lookstar Dancers, Leaders – Gabriella Stagno Piscopo

Company – Żejtun Carnival Troupe , Leaders – Wendy Caruana

Category D:

Company – Hypnotic Dancers Carnival Group, Leaders – Angele Vella

Company – Sezzjoni Żgħażagħ Stillieri Tarxien, Leaders – Kluivert Caruana

Company – Spagu and Friends Carnival Company, Leaders – Joseph Barbara

Antoine Farrugia
Malta Carnival 2022, Festivals Malta
The Ordinary Lives of Women2022-01-28 00:00:002022-03-13 00:00:00Space ACURATORS
Elise Billiard Pisani & Margerita Pulè

Florinda Camilleri, Abigail Agius, Charlie Cauchi, Edith Dekyndt, Katel Delia, Rachel Fallon, Syowia Kyambi, Julieta Gil, Fatima Mazmouz & Francesca Saraullo

Noura Abdelhafidh

Nicole Bearman

Ann Dingli
Unfinished Art Space, Brazza Art Residency, Art+Feminism & Wikimedia Community Malta

Supported by
APS Bank, Arts Council Malta, Melita Foundation, Embassy of France in Malta & Embassy of Ireland in Malta
LE.IVA | Anger is a Lazy Form of Grief2022-02-25 00:00:002022-04-10 00:00:00Space CARTIST
Austin Camilleri

Rosa Martinez

Irene Biolchin
Visit Malta, ReCoop, Magro Group, Express Trailers, Arkafort, iLabPHOTO, Pictures & Frames
La Pietà – a videodance installation by Ruben Zahra2022-03-03 00:00:002022-04-17 00:00:00Atrium Approach CURATOR
Ruben Zahra

Francesca Tranter
Anatomy of a Viral Landscape2021-03-10 00:00:002022-04-17 00:00:00Atrium & Upper Atrium ARTIST
Rebecca DiDomenico
U.S. Embassy, VALLETTA, MALTA; Heritage Malta
Night of Ideas – Exhibition2022-03-11 00:00:002022-04-10 00:00:00Space BCREATIVE TEAM
Eugénie Drion
Hermine Bourdin
Gaëtan Le Coarer
Laura Besançon
Sea Sunset Moon – Variations on Solitude2022-03-18 00:00:002022-05-08 00:00:00Space AARTISTS
Paul Scerri, Norbert Francis Attard, Katie Sims, Glen Calleja, Anna Calleja, Chelsea Muscat, Sarah Bonaci, with essays by Ruth Bianco and Michael Zammit

Gabriel Zammit
Ambassade de France à Malte; Alliance Française de Malte; Institut Français
Palettes 2022-04-13 00:00:002022-05-29 00:00:00Space BARTIST
Katarina Radovic
Faces of Europe2022-04-14 00:00:002022-05-29 00:00:00Space CARTIST
Carsten Sander
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, VALLETTA
SAAI Factory – Malta Edition2022-05-12 00:00:002022-06-29 00:00:00Space A, Atrium and Atrium Approach CREATIVE TEAM 
Christoph Faulhaber 
Sarah Steffens 
ARTISTS AI Wondergirls: Sneha Bahl, Rosana de Oliveira Gomes, Tanjiha Mahmud, Erum Afzal, Sara EL-ATEIF 
Creative Quantum AI: Hannah Reber, Michael Sträubig, Gert-Jan Akerboom, Grishma Prasad 
Radbots Collective 
Isaac Sullivan
Lia Coleman
Daniel Vier
Andy Cowling
John-Robin Bold
Olivier Pasquet
Thomas Goepfer
Max Haarich
Lena Michaelis
Nazeli Ter-Petrosyan
Rico A. Beti
Susu Lu
Uwe Dresemann
Spazju Kreattiv

Itl. Summer Festival Hamburg 2021 Kampnagel
AUTONOM – Fonds Darstellende Künste
KAUST University Thuwal
India Week Hamburg 2021
The Goethe Institute’s Visual Arts Project Fund
Allianz Kulturstiftung
Hamburg Ministry for Culture and Media
KI Biennale Essen 2022
Woods Art Institute Wentorf/Hamburg
ARIC Hamburg
HKS Ottersberg
HAW Hamburg
Alfaisal University
Hertz Lab – ZKM Karlsruhe
Zayed University Dubai
ZHDK Zurich
Kunstverein Hamburg
The Goethe Institutes: Riyadh, Bangalore, Gulf Region, San Francisco, Hyderabad, Lagos, Mumbai
Genossenschaft Kalkbreite
Shifting Contexts II2022-06-02 00:00:002022-07-03 00:00:00Space CCURATOR
Trevor Borg

Alessio Cuschieri
Sheldon Saliba
Gabriel Lia
Rachelle Deguara
Text Catalogue (Ella Marie Fleri Soler & Andrew Darmanin)
Mark Cassar
Rachel Bowman
Giulia Elena Xuereb
Isaac Warrington
Aġenżija Żgħażagħ
MCAST ICA Festival2022-07-07 00:00:002022-07-31 00:00:00Space A, Space C, Space B, Atrium, Atrium Approach, Meditation area & Main StaircaseMCAST’s Institute for the Creative Arts

In Between – Matthew Schembri & Thomas Scerri exhibition
2022-08-05 00:00:002022-09-11 00:00:00Space C