In a quiet and bright courtyard in Mdina, six local artists are showcasing their skills in the ancient art of ceramics.

The Gamblers by Joseph AgiusThe Gamblers by Joseph Agius

They have known each other for years and call themselves friends but all have different styles.

In Formed with Fire, they express their concerns and interests mostly through the way they portray the human figure.

“We all give different interpretations but the one thing in common between our works is that they are formed with fire,” Mario Sammut, one of the exhibitors, says.

Ceramic art is made from clay, or clay mixed with other materials, that is shaped and subjected to heat.

Different types of clay, used with different minerals and firing conditions, may produce earthenware, stoneware, porcelain or bone china.

This particular exhibition features earthenware, that is pottery that has not been fired to vitrification and is thus permeable to water, and stoneware, a vitreous or semi-vitreous ceramic that is fired at high temperatures, is non-porous and may be glazed.

Kenneth Grima presents a set of artefacts which resemble primitive art, yet have a contemporary style.

Sina Micallef showcases two of her sculptures, one of which is an abstract reclining figure and the other representing a group of people seated in a circle during a Satsanga session.

Kenneth Grima is inspired by primitive art.Kenneth Grima is inspired by primitive art.

With titles such as Affection, Coming Together and Support, Mario Sammut’s works show the artist’s penchant for linear forms and different textures to convey emotion, movement and relationships.

Coming Together by Mario SammutComing Together by Mario Sammut

On the other hand, Charles Sammut’s sculptures include a combination of organic and geometric styles. His Faces collection is made up of elegant and elongated shapes representing different emotions through a single cavity, which represents the mouth.

A feeling of sadness and gloom permeates Joseph Agius’s works. Among his sculptures are an abstract bust with an inclined head, titled Sadness, and another artwork featuring a dice − with figures instead of numbers − caught in a vice, aptly titled The Gamblers.

Antoine Paul Camilleri’s set of five cat-eyed nude figures in different positions, such as reclining and sitting, rounds up the exhibition.

Formed with Fire is being held at the National Museum of Natural History (entrance in front of Xara Palace hotel), Mdina, until June 2. It is open from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 12.30pm.

A tourist taking a photo of one of Antoine Paul Camilleri’s nude figures.A tourist taking a photo of one of Antoine Paul Camilleri’s nude figures.

A detail of Sina Muscat’s SatsangaA detail of Sina Muscat’s Satsanga

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