Funded projects for 2016
Project Support Grant
Applicant: Gordon Calleja
Reference number: PSG 18-FN 1531
Project Title: Vengeance
Amount awarded: €20,000
The project involves the development of a board game focusing on the theme of revenge. The main aim of the project is to create an artefact which is innovative and engaging in terms of gaming and which presents high-quality aesthetic work. Gordon aims to develop the work to pitch it on international platforms. There are various collaborators involved in the project, including Axel Torvenius, Adam Brimmer, Slawek Kościukiewicz, David Chircop, Jean Luc Portelli and Galeann Barbara.
Applicant: Konrad Buhagiar
Reference number: PSG 21-FN 1534
Project Title: The Rabbit-duck illusion – The holes are not what they seem (Architecture Project Ltd)
Amount awarded: €10,000
The project entails the conception, construction, and exhibition of a cabinet of curiosities containing objects chosen for their capacity to exemplify experimental design and construction processes. The project’s main aims are to create new possibilities for the practice to keep exploring and generating new content. This is achieved through public display, where the visitors’ feedback and conceptual interaction is sought. The cabinet will present AP's efforts to conquer new fields and will focus on projects where design creates new and added value. This is demonstrated by inserting them in the perspective of the everyday, the individual and the collective, the unnoticed and the historical stories and encounters that are catalysed by the various sites. In bringing objects into fresh dynamics and paradigms, the project will have as its main outcome the discovery of new conceptual models and axes of research, which will in turn feed future projects and explorations. The project will be presented at the 15th Architecture Biennale in Venice.
Applicant: Kristina Borg
Reference number: PSG 03-FN 1516
Project Title: You are what you buy
Amount awarded: €10,000
The project compares and contrasts the relation between art and commerce, and how the art sphere is influenced by and reacts to the capitalist economy. The project will take place at a supermarket which provides the ideal setting for this reflection and production of work, where the focus will be on the receipts given at the cashpoint. Such receipts and further dialogue with the customers will lead to a new narrative presented through a set of drawings as well as a limited collection of wearable items. The latter, having a number of receipts printed on them, will be the main work for the final performative happening which will take place at the chosen supermarket. The main collaborators in this project are Kristina Borg, Virginia Monteforte, Silvia Simoncelli as well as a group of actors who will be engaged at a later stage in the project and who will be working directly with the buyers in the supermarket.
Applicant: Alexandra Pace (Blitz)
Reference number: PSG 06-FN 1519
Project Title: Corita Kent - Exhibition and Public Programme
Amount awarded: €10,000
Sister Corita Kent’s first solo exhibition in Malta presents her iconic, socially-engaged artworks, alongside videos of Kent discussing her practice. It marks a time of renewed interest in the work and life of Kent with a touring retrospective throughout the US and a major publication of works from the 1950s – 1980s. The aim of this project is to present an exhibition of international contemporary art addressing themes of contemporary existence. The project will lead to collaboration with the international community of independent contemporary art spaces and curators. Through this project, Blitz seeks to engage new audiences in contemporary arts, investigate how access to high-quality exhibitions can be improved and serve as the impetus to expand the local contemporary cultural infrastructure.
Applicant: Peter k/a Pierre Portelli
Reference number: PSG 24-FN 1537
Project Title: REL.INK
Amount awarded: €10,000
This project focuses on tattoo culture and designs associated with waterfront workers. It aims to research 20th century tattooing culture in Malta through oral history interviews and archival research that will inform the artistic process. The aim is to revisit these designs working through the narratives of the informants which will be translated into a visual art exhibition featuring a visual artist, a photographer, a tattoo artist and an artist specialising in embroidery. The project places the participating elderly collaborators at the centre and presents them as protagonists who, together with their families and carers, document the stories stemming from their work environment and experience. The project also engages in a a collaborative partnership with the department of Library Information and Archive Science University of Malta, and the Malta Maritime Museum, with the aim of setting up an archive related to tattoo design and culture related to waterfront workers.
Applicant: André Mangion
Reference number: PSG 62-FN 1730
Project Title: Raymond “Fight” Beck
Amount awarded: €14,000
This is an experimental project which tries to build a bridge between two different forms of entertainment - Sports and the Arts, more specifically Boxing and Theatre. Through this project, Andre would like to venture out of a normal comfort zone (Theatre) and enhance the experience by dealing with the unknown form (Boxing). The plan is to learn the culture of the local boxing sphere and amalgamate that culture into all aspects pertaining to the development of a production - scripting, marketing, set designing and construction, make-up, actor’s training, rehearsals and overall direction. The project aims to create an innovative concept which is neither purely theatre nor purely sports but a fusion of the two. This in turn will appeal to both existing audiences and practitioners of the two separate spheres, and for the very first time locally, bring them together to create an artistic/sportive product of excellence.
This project will be held in collaboration with the Malta Boxing Association, a non-profit organisation.
Applicant: Lawrence Buttigieg
Reference number: PSG 61-FN 1729
Project Title: SACRED | PROFANE
Amount awarded: €11,500
Lawrence Buttigieg will be presenting an evolving collection of works. Spaces C1-C4 of Spazju Kreattiv at St. James Cavalier will be hosting thirteen three-dimensional, mixedmedia, body-themed box-assemblages, four paintings, and ten drawings. While the more significant are the box-assemblages, the presence of all components is critical to this event, as they engage the participant-spectators with the development and maturation of the research. While the box-assemblages fragmentise, fetishise and sacralise the female body, they also juxtapose the sacred and the profane on the hypothesis that woman and the deity share a common realm, that of the Other. Each of these artefacts ‘invites’ the viewers to enter into a complicitous relationship with it by exploring its intimate materiality both visually and tactually. Spaces C2–C3 of Spazju Kreativ will be temporarily divided into smaller, intimate spaces by means of low-level timber walls. Each box-assemblage will have its own cubicle. In this way, the viewers may experience the artefacts in a private and secluded manner. The artefacts address issues of IDENTITY in terms of the Catholic faith vis-à-vis Malta; LEGACY, in terms of male artist/female subject relationships; and DIVERSITY in terms of gender fluidity.
This project will take place in collaboration with Spazju Kreattiv at St James Cavalier, Schools of the Arts, Loughborough University, and the Faculty of Arts at the University of Malta.
Applicant: Gilbert Formosa
Reference number: PSG 44-FN 1712
Project Title: B’Sogħba kbira [working title]
Amount awarded: €5,372
Bakkanti, a group of 6 actors, will be producing a theatrical project written by Simon Bartolo and directed by Roderick Vassallo. The audience will be presented with a performance that will give an insight into the complexities of relationships, those platonic as well as non-platonic. The script will be light and humourous (dark), and based on the death of a family member, with particular emphasis on the way this effects interrelationships between family members. Bakkanti intends to make the audience identify itself with the characters on stage.
The theatre group plans on having a one-act play at the Sacrestia Vault at the Waterfront, Valletta. Other activities will include video-conferencing workshops, a seminar, workshops, rehearsals and six performances in November 2016. Various artists will be collaborating in this project and original music will be specifically composed for this performance.
Applicant: Carolanne Busuttil k/a Carrie Haber
Reference number: PSG 37-FN 1705
Project Title: I Am Willow Branding and Singles Release
Amount awarded: €18,000
I AM WILLOW’s project consists of a number of artistic collaborative activities aiming to develop the artistic practice at this stage of her international career, namely the release of singles, high quality music videos, branding and PR/marketing over a period of 17 months. Carolanne Busuttil (the birth name of the artist I AM WILLLOW) co-wrote the first single ‘Oceanful’ and is featured on the track which will be released this summer under one of the top 3 dance labels in the world, Spinnin Records. This will help generate exposure and interest in ‘Oceanful’ and in the singles that will follow. I AM WILLOW targets young adults aged between 18 and 28 who are dealing with self discovery and the relationship with others. She has been working with some renowned co-writers and producers including Ron Haney, Zeke McUmber, Paul Carter, Jon Hockings and Matt Newman to create the 4 tracks that shall be released individually as singles.
Applicant: Gary Bugeja
Reference number: PSG 55-FN 1723
Project Title: Tmiem
Amount awarded: € 4,144
This project consists of a conceptual photographic collection that transcribes a story. Inspired by the origins of classic fairy tales, passed down through generations and meant to entertain and educate young people, the collection will adapt the stories to address current social issues. Equality, domestic violence and eating disorders are a few of the subjects being tackled in this collection. The shock element that comes from the message will contrast with the romantic and familiar element of fairy tales. The exhibition will lead the audience through a journey that allows it to relive its childhood memories through the fairy tales, but viewed from a new perspective as adults. This will allow the members of the audience to link the old memories with the new experience and create awareness of the social issues around them.
The title ‘Tmiem’ is representative of both the classic fairy tale books which lead to a ‘happy’ ending and the (abstract) ending of our society. The exhibition will be held at Splendid in Valletta. Each theme will consist of one main photo and two other photos which will accompany the main one. Each photograph will not be given a title, but instead, Gary Bugeja will be suggesting what society would say when presented with the particular social issues.
Applicant: Creative Island (Nicole Cuschieri)
Reference number: PSG 39-FN 1707
Project Title: Inwardly Silent
Amount awarded: €3,320.80
Further to a road accident suffered by photographer Aldo Cauchi Savona, this is a project which aims to tell a story of positivity and perseverance, by taking the audience on an immersive, emotive and edifying journey from that one brief moment when Aldo’s life changed forever. Nicole Cuschieri and Miriam Calleja will be collaborating with Aldo on a performance and visual exhibition based on the latter’s diary, which inspired Miriam’s poetry, and eventually, the development of a short film and the curation of an immersive multimedia experience. The project aims to create a multi-media experience where the audience can walk in Aldo’s footsteps, through his recovery process. It will be using poetry, film, performance and photography as an inspirational tool to express our experiences, surroundings and internal dialogue. It will also be stressing the ultimate message that hope, positivity and acceptance of a situation and its new reality is an effective means of aiding and perhaps speeding up recovery.
This is a collaborative project fusing different art forms. Alex Vella Gregory will be composing songs inspired by the poetry and Brandon Shaw will be responsible for the project’s choreography.
Applicant: Bettina Cassar
Reference number: PSG 64-FN 1732
Project Title: MARA
Amount awarded: €3,000
This project consists of a production that celebrates the story of women throughout time with an all-female cast of all ages. Composing and manipulating sound live, the audience will be immersed in audio-creations where the sound designer becomes a performer and the audience participates in the storytelling. This is a multidisciplinary piece involving song, movement, poetry, dance, drama, elements of verbatim theatre and visual art. Networking with international consultants and collaborating with choreographers and directors, the script will be devised by the cast themselves. Following stories of different characters who accomplished a lot despite complications, the aim of the project is to highlight that every story is worth telling and no voice should be silenced.
Bettina intends to create an innovative production featuring live interactive sound design which drives the storytelling, whilst making use of elements of verbatim theatre, dance and song. This project targets the general audience, with a focus on the younger generation as well as frequent theatre goers and art students. Bettina will be collaborating with Philippa Cassar (Design, Choreography & Direction), Denise Mulholland (Artistic Direction), Marisha Bonnici (Additional Choreography), Andrew Schembri (Additional Programming Consultant) and various cast members.
Applicant: Unifaun Theatre Produtions – Adrian Buckle
Reference number: PSG 67-FN 1787
Project Title: Collapse
Amount awarded: €5,505
Written by Adrian himself and set in a dystopian future under siege, this play will tackle and explore the theme of mental health. This multi-disciplinary project is the result of years of collaboration between local artists and their colleagues from California. The performance will be supported by an exhibition of Anthony Catania that will explore the myth of the minotaur, as portrayed in the text and its relationship vis-à-vis mental health and sexual behaviour. The aim of the project is to produce a script and a production that will explore the notion of madness and sexual behaviour through theatre and art, and that will possibly be exported to foreign cities such as California and Edinburgh.
Applicant: Tyrone Grima
Reference number: PSG 69-FN 1843
Project Title: Antigone
Amount awarded: €18,000
The starting point of this artistic project was the desire to explore the possibility of setting up a circus at the Manoel Theatre by using a text that would enhance the dynamic. Parallel to this was Tyrone’s reading of Jean Anouilh’s thought provoking play Antigone. In this play, the author constantly uses the notion of cages to denote the fatal roles that we are born into. This metaphor was the decisive factor that propelled Adrian to choose this text to incarnate a day at the circus, transforming the city of Thebes into the circus of Thebes. The play presents caged characters who do not have a choice but to succumb to the tragedy that they were assigned to. Staged at the Manoel theatre in year 2018, the play will experiment with the form and the content of a play based on a Greek myth in such a way that it becomes more accessible to a contemporary audience.
Applicant: Jes Psaila
Reference number: PSG 79-FN 1854
Project Title: DUOs
Amount awarded: €4,000
Jes Psaila and William Smith will perform original music on a number of stringed and percussion instruments. The project will also feature a number of live talks, and the instruments will include acoustic and electric guitars, a bass guitar and a guitar synth. It aims to produce a music score that showcases the sonic pallette of the guitar and its use in various musical styles, from mellow acoustic sounds to electric grooves and heavy electronic sounds, thus proving a guitar’s versatility. The project will lead to a live performance and an EPK to promote the project in festivals abroad.
Applicant: David Grima
Reference number: PSG 80-FN 1855
Project Title: “arbanġ”
Amount awarded: €2,840
This is a 2D visual exhibition exploring the phenomenon of all that is and the universality of nature. Based on the classical Greek trivium of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric, the exhibition space will be divided into three separate but adjacent rooms which will invite the audience on to a journey of learning, understanding and ultimately changing perception and increased environmental consciousness. The project aims to bridge both science and art through the use of visual imagery to help us understand and appreciate the hidden synergy between life forms and inanimate matter. Mr Grima will be collaborating with a number of environmental NGOs and Maltese writer Clifford Jo Zahra.
Applicant: Cassian Camilleri
Reference number: PSG 81-FN 1856
Project Title: Valletta Lives
Amount awarded: €3,654.40
Taking the form of a curated educational programme designed specifically for its audiences, this is a month-long project focusing on developing film literacy among young people between the ages of 11 and 15. The programme will focus on four major areas of filmmaking: Screenwriting, Sound Production, Direction and Editing. Valletta Lives aims to promote film literacy, and to give a better understanding of what it means and takes to make films, even when resources are immensely limited. A series of workshops will be carried out by London-based sound designer Yasmin Kuymizakis, director Keith Albert Tedesco and Simshar editor Daniel Lapira. The project is supported by the Creative Europe Desk and will run ahead of the 2017 edition of the Young Audience Film Awards.
Applicant: Jon Mallia
Reference number: PSG 84-FN 1859
Project Title: Erectile Dysfunction – The Stumbling Rise of the Human
Amount awarded: €10,000
A collective informally known as ‘Prime8ernal’ will draw upon the works of some of the foremost thinkers and writers in the study of the human phenomenon to create interdisciplinary works through a moderated process of research and dialogue. This will result in an online exhibition and media platform of varying downloadable and sharable works targeting an international audience. The project aims to galvanise international networks with international artists and organisations. All the works produced will be categorised into one of the Erectile Dysfunction’s 4 strands representing some of humanity’s foremost characteristsics: Curiosity, Resilience, Myths and Humour. The project will try to dissolve habitual creative patterns and produce thematic interdisciplinary works, influenced by the acquisition of new literary and thought capital as part of a dialoguing collective, thus seeking to synthesize complex concepts into high quality universally accessible art.
Applicant: Kenneth Scicluna
Reference number: PSG 86-FN 1861
Project Title: SELAH
Amount awarded: €16,000
This is a project that brings together two forms of art that are borne of the articulation of time and space – Film and Dance. The emmeshing of these two art forms, using the very first choreography that ŻfinMalta performed in public – Selah – will create a tertium quid that is a particularly unique form of art film. The project seeks to explore the limits of artistic expression in relation to culture. The dance film version of Selah will engender greater engagement with the issues exemplified by the spirit of the choreography, by emphasising aspects through the staging process, by expanding, in aesthetic terms, on the conflict between the roles taken on by the five dancers in the piece, and by enhancing movement in relation to the forms in the Maltese landscape that have shaped them. The original choreographer of Selah, Jose Agudo, film director, cinematographer and musician, Matthew Beckett and Maltese filmmaker Kenneth Scicluna will be the main collaborators of this project.