A forthcoming exhibition at the Malta Society of Arts is formed of conversations between a Maltese artist living in Portugal and a Portuguese artist living in Malta.

This cultural exchange was the starting point of Ngħaddu ż-Żmien, an exhibition featuring paintings, artefacts and an installation by Maltese artist Ed Dingli and Portuguese artist Patarra, curated by Andrew Borg Wirth and opening at the MSA on June 27.

“We began our journey by sending each other history of art references, current exhibitions and cultural tips as we both sought to delve deeper into the cultures of our newly adopted homes,” comment Dingli and Patarra.

Patarra (left) and Ed Dingli.Patarra (left) and Ed Dingli.

“As artists who share a similar graphic language, we began to share sketches, thoughts and ideas, and eventually things started to take the shape of an exhibition.

“Our collaboration, bridging our backgrounds in illustration and design, has pushed us to explore painting in new, profound ways.”

Ngħaddu ż-Żmien will feature paintings in acrylics and oils, as well as pencil drawings and process sketches exploring themes of migration, identity and the quest for meaning.

Our collaboration, bridging our backgrounds in illustration and design, has pushed us to explore painting in new, profound ways

“As foreigners in our new lands, we are in constant search for common ground to give us our sense of home. As both our countries face a wave of homogenisation in the wake of globalisation, we explore the everyday nuances of mundane culture which give a country and a people their identity, and try to find our place within it all,” they add.

Curator Borg Wirth highlights the exhibition’s celebration of Mediterranean summers: “Dingli and Patarra’s works cherish the everyday, blending familiarity with their evolving artistic expressions,” he explains.

“Their works radiate a strong sense of familiarity. Audiences will appreciate this, as well as the artistic evolution of both artists, who are beginning to explore painting while departing from their foundations in graphic art and design. I have followed their trajectory as they debut their painting practice, and worked to showcase what is identifiable in their work.”

The artists in the studio.The artists in the studio.

MSA President Adrian Mamo expresses his satisfaction that the MSA is supporting new engaging work by two artists who are pushing their boundaries but not only.

“Ed Dingli and Patarra are presenting the result of hours of research, observation and exchanges, and we look forward to see audience’s reactions to works rich in cultural and political reflections that reference the current situations in both countries,” he says.

Ngħaddu ż-Żmien is an exhibition by Ed Dingli and Patarra and curated by Andrew Borg Wirth. It is open June from 27 to July 18 at the Malta Society of Arts, Valletta. Entrance is free. For opening hours please visit artsmalta.org or facebook.com/maltasocietyofarts.

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