The first edition of the Summer Showcase by Marie Gallery5, organised together with Bureau Iniala, is currently taking place in Valletta until September 22, showing a total of 16 pieces.

The showcase is a curated selection of works by established and emerging local artists with the aim of acting as a means to promote individual works beyond the parameters of an exhibition narrative.

Speaking to Times of Malta, gallerist Maria Galea says that some of the works selected for this particular showcase form part of an ongoing research process by the presented artist which will eventually lead towards a final series. Others, she says, have recently been exhibi­ted or form part of a larger body of works.

“Being a summer showcase, most of the pieces also reflect the current season through colour, texture, symbolism and subject matter interpretation,” explains Galea.

The artists selected for this showcase vary from internationally established to highly promising emerging artists who have previously exhibited their works in notable institutions.

Speaking about the individual artists taking part in the showcase and their works, Galea says that each carries an in-depth individual narrative.

“Vince Briffa’s works challenge the more conventional notions and historical application of matter in the practice of painting, while Ryan Falzon’s popular plant series reflect the mood in spring 2022, with the promise of prospective summer and the ease of uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 virus,” she says. 

Turning to the work by local artist Joseph Farrugia, Galea notes the recurrent theme of multiple individuals within a singularity that collectively configure the picture’s composition.

Also allegorical are Paul Scerri’s works, forming part of the Mano Poderosa series, which recall peculiar, intriguing pre-Christian cults and representations of the hand of Sabazios.

Sheldon Saliba and Stefan Spiteri, both promising emerging artists, are showcasing works that form part of a larger series or process, while Trevor Borg exhibits a unique piece created a few years back as part of his ongoing exploration and interpretation of the natural element.

“What can’t go unnoticed is a unique stand-alone piece by the late and iconic Isabelle Borg – an abstract diptych on paper, which is highly unusual compared to her portfolio of works,” says Galea.

“This work, produced in 1990 by Isabelle, embodies her distinct us of bold colour and performative brush strokes.” 

I don’t believe that the commercial element to any exhibition or concept creates any distraction from the works themselves

Emphasising that the showcase is not a collective exhibition that represents distinct practices in the artworld, Galea says that the Summer Showcase is in keeping with a concept used throughout commercial galleries worldwide where they display prominent works by the artists whom they represent in between shows.

She added that the showcase was given a name so that it could be used as a point of reference for audience.

“In contrast, collective exhibitions come together through thematic consideration mainly and not through the individual artists or work, just like the one we had earlier this year called MARA,” she says.  

Works from Paul Scerri’s Mano Poderosa series.Works from Paul Scerri’s Mano Poderosa series.

“I don’t believe that the commercial element to any exhibition or concept creates any distraction from the works themselves; after all, the sale of artworks is how an artist sustains him or herself unless the exhibition or project is done purely for social impact and community engagement and is publicly or privately funded. 

“As an art advisory and curator, my work is both to help create curated art experiences as well as advise clients on which works and artists to invest in both for individual acquisition as well as projects such as hospitality, and public and private acquisitions,” says Galea.

Speaking about Marie Gallery5’s commitment to artists and their work, Galea says that since opening their doors in 2016, the gallery has always placed artists at the core of everything they did.

“Our commitment is to give artists access to different ways  to reach their audience, create a living from their practice and find international opportunities for them to grow professionally.”

The Summer Showcase is showing at Bureau Iniala, Valletta, till September 22. See more at


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