Title: Identity of an Island – Gozo Contemporary Art Project and Art-Historical Conference
Date: 1 - 22 May
Venue: Art and Art History
Dr Mark Sagona, visual artist and resident academic in the Department of Art and Art History in the Faculty of Arts is currently engaged as artistic director of the Contemporary Art Project and Art-Historical Conference collectively entitled Identity of an Island – Gozo: Art between past and present. The event proposes the identity of the island of Gozo as a platform for contemporary art practice and art-historical discussion through two, inter-linked events happening at Teatru Astra in Victoria, Gozo in the coming days. The event is dedicated to artist Frank Portelli (1922-2004), pioneer of Modern Art in Malta, who in the late 1960s had designed the Astra theatre, on the first centenary from his birth.
The first event, which was inaugurated on Saturday 30 April 2022, is a Contemporary Art Collective entitled Alternative Perspectives, in which 29 artistic projects are being installed in the large spaces of the theatre and its foyer. The selected artistic projects bring together video art, multi-media installations, fashion, text, painting, sculpture and ceramics created by a cross-section of established artists and a number of lesser-known names, all of who have engaged with the theme of Gozo in an alternative, contemporary manner.
The exhibition creates a route throughout the theatre and its ancillary spaces in which the different projects dialogue with each other and make the visitor ponder about such themes like connectivity, insularity, immigration, the environment, over-development, construction, religion and politics, the rituals of the island and the younger generation among others. Since the event is dedicated to Frank Portelli, the exhibition will also include a number of sculptural reliefs which originally adorned Teatru Astra, selected by the curator specifically for the event. The exhibition will be open to the public between the 1 and 22 May 2022, Monday-Friday: 17:30 - 20:00; Saturdays 10:00 - 19:00; Sundays 09:00 - 13:00.
The second event is an art-historical conference convened by Dr Sagona on the artistic heritage of the island, entitled The Artistic Legacy of Gozo in which several academic members from the Department of Art and Art History and a number of its past students will engage with themes encompassing artistic production on the island from the Baroque era to the twenty-first century. The conference will be introduced by Prof. Keith Sciberras, Head of the Department of Art and Art History. The conference will be taking place throughout the morning of Saturday 14 May, between 09:30 and 13:00, also at Teatru Astra, and is expected to be one of the major art-historical discussions about the artistic heritage of the island in recent years. Registration for this event is open on firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the event is available on the online portal.