The Banca Giuratale at it-Tokk in Victoria is currently hosting an exhibition by Madeleine Vella. The exhibition, Beyond the Brush, was inaugurated by Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri. It is Vella’s fifth solo exhibition, but her first one in Gozo. 

Vella, daughter of the late Cecil Satariano, who was also an artist, photographer, author, film critic and filmmaker, says that like her father she has always been a keen observer of nature. “Art is an essential part of my daily life,” she said.

Describing her father as her mentor and inspiration, Vella said he taught her how to observe and appreciate the beauty in nature and in simple things. “I can freely say that I am a romantic painter. I am very positive and through my paintings I wish to convey my positivity to my viewers,” she added.

Vella’s paintings on display have been inspired by the beautiful hills and countryside of Gozo. “I seek freedom and liberty from this rushed life we live in, and find it in the quiet open spaces of this island.

“Each painting reflects my thoughts and emotions, sometimes strong and deep, other times fun and romantic, depending on what event inspired me to create that particular painting.”

Vella’s palette is bright and strong, her paintings are simple but reflect deep emotions. “My imagination runs free and gallops with these wild, elegant creatures I love so much. My horses are never in reins or wearing a saddle, they are free of any restraints, just as I want my paintings to be.”

The artist uses various mediums… acrylic, watercolour, gouache, ink and pencil, the first being her favourite as it allowed her to do finger painting. “This gives me more freedom to express myself better, allowing me to acquire a level of intimacy I could not otherwise create with the brush,” Vella said. 

All her paintings in the exhibition are acrylic. The title, Beyond the Brush, implies many of her paintings, though not all, are finger painted. 

The exhibition is open until July 21. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 2.30pm; Saturday and Sunday from 9.30am to noon.

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