Funded projects for 2018
Project Support Grant
ANTIPORTA at Venice Architecture Biennale 2018
Amount Awarded: EUR10,000
Chris Briffa Architects will be exhibiting at the Venice Architecture Biennale as part of the TIME SPACE EXISTENCE exhibition organised by the Global Art Affairs Foundation between May and November 2018.
This new project brings together a group of creatives with interests across diverse media, to study the origins of the antiporta, its current meanings and functions, and potential contemporary values. It will serve to document its passage over time of the social constructs that these artefacts served to host, and to investigate the cultural morphology of their existence.
Led by Chris Briffa, the team is an experienced group of creative professionals, artists and architects who will endeavor to document, analyse and re-interpret the antiporta in a multisensory exhibition at this prestigious international festival.
Malta Bus Re-Evolution
Amount Awarded: EUR10,000
The 'Malta Bus Re-evolution' by Jonathan Mizzi evolves Malta’s rich cultural and creative narrative through the re-imagination of its Malta bus – still one of Malta’s greatest icons despite its decommission. Utilising latest design technologies, Jonathan will create the next generation vehicle, building a model that pays homage to its collective memory and places it in the future with road-ready detail while respecting today’s regulations and retaining its characteristic appeal. The model will be the focal point of an exhibition sited outside Valletta’s Parliament building. Both the scale model and exhibition will interpret this re-evolution for the public. An outreach campaign will take it to all corners of Malta and abroad.
On the Museum’s ruins
Amount awarded: EUR9000
‘On the Museum’s Ruins’ is a fashion project which explores the cultural status of art objects in installation, tackling the inevitable ‘mausoleumification’ of museums through the design and creation of a fashion collection and its presentation in the form of an event. Proposed to take place as an installation at the Gran Salon at the National Museum of Archaeology, it is a nostalgic reworking of the Medieval Revival wall painting and decoration of the location, which is currently undergoing conservation and restoration, as well as an exploration of the state of ‘in-betweenness’ that the said wall painting currently finds itself in. In a sense, it is a manifestation of the liminal moment between states of preservation.
Artisanal design and couture is here the instrument within a self-sustainable local industry, that uses concept-based fashion to embrace beauty. This collection will be presented not as one of garments, but of artefacts undergoing ‘maintenance’, with the conservators working on the wall painting of the location while the models come out in garments that celebrate the process of their production. This commentary on the journey and the process is movement away from the glamorous end result which often disregards all processes. The collection sees the moment of incompleteness in conservation as a moment of life in an otherwise frozen-like state museum objects find themselves in - permanently on hold, frozen in time, and ultimately dead.
Amount awarded: EUR15,000
The Notarial Archives in Valletta is a treasure house for Malta’s hidden history. With a collection of over 20,000 manuscripts, spanning a period of six centuries, the Archives provide unique insight into public and private life in Malta. In collaboration with the Notarial Archives Foundation, this photography project looks into the original purpose of these damaged documents and presents a new narrative by creating a dialogue between the photographer, Alex Attard, and the damaged documents. The photographer-in-residence will examine absence and presence and will conceive and suggest alternative identities, parallel existences, for these forgotten manuscripts through an innovative creative intervention. The project explores what is perceived as ‘lost’ into a new form, changing objects with information that will never be retrieved, into a work of art. Photography as medium is, on this occasion, not only a documentary voice but an active participant alongside history.
Alex Attard’s photographic work created in situ at the Archives will be exhibited for four weeks at Valletta Contemporary, a new space for contemporary art within historical vaults in Valletta. Concurrently, a 3-day public satellite exhibition and open for a month for special events, curated by Katya Micallef will be held at the Notarial Archives. For the first time, some of these manuscripts will be exhibited to the public alongside contemporary artworks by various Maltese artists selected by the curator as a response to Alex’s artistic process and intervention.
The Blue Tangerine
Amount awarded: EUR20,000
The project began in 2016 under the wing of the Malta Jazz Festival, as the second edition of the Fringe Youth Ensemble concept – an idea developed by the festival as a platform for international musical exchange.
All the members of this medium-sized nine piece ensemble have a solid jazz background. Their repertoire is inspired by Brazilian music; notably compositions by Hermeto Pascoal and his 'Universal Music', as well as by Pixinguinha, a master of 'Choro' from the beginning of XXth century. The band also performs original music, with compositions written and arranged by the members of the group. As the next step in the band's development, the musicians plan to compose a larger repertoire of original material, and record a full-length album for CD and digital format, which will be released via a live launch concert in Malta, as well as a concert in Paris. The album will also serve as a promotional tool for the band to gain further exposure on the international circuit. In conjunction with the launch concerts, masterclasses will be hosted by members of the band at the Malta School of Music and the EDIM school in Paris.
Returning to L36
Amount awarded: EUR17,000
This project distils what Sharleen has discovered about Malta’s migration history into a series of artworks, ranging from photography and soundscapes, to built structures and moving image. The exhibition uses a mixture of visual art practices to reveal truths about our national identity and allow us to question our past migration stories. Arranged around the architecture of the ‘townhouse’ structure that is Blitz, this exhibition appropriates each room in the gallery to tell a different migration story. Each room is dedicated to a different country and period in history. Rather than grand-narratives, these works are woven from the texture of everyday life.
Mosaic Marble Machine
Amount awarded: EUR9,000
The Mosaic Marble Machine (MMM) is a kinetic interactive sculpture. It will allow members of the public to take a portrait photo of their face which the machine will print in a grid of differently coloured marbles. The project will be exhibited for 3 months at the Esplora Science and Interactivity Centre and open to the general public. The aim of the project is to have it tour different countries in the year 2019.
The MMM aims to fuse together multiple disciplines including interactive art, kinetic art, electronic art, computational art as well as heavily influencing itself from the art of marble runs.
Applicant: Loranne Vella
Reference number: PSG-13-18-3515
Project Title: Verbi: mill-bieb ’il ġewwa - a performance art project by Barumbara Collective
Amount awarded: €11,000
Verbi: mill-bieb ’il ġewwa is an interdisciplinary performative event born through a collaboration of eight artists from different artistic spheres - drama, dance, installation art, photography, film, light design, music and sound design, literature. The performance which will be held at the Valletta Contemporary, an upcoming art space, is meant to blur the lines between the different artistic disciplenes, creating a multidisciplinary and multisensorial experience. The starting point and main narrative behind and through Verbi: mill-bieb ’il ġewwa is the collection of short stories mill-bieb ’il ġewwa/take a look inside (me), written by Loranne Vella. Each story focuses on an individual character in the act of performing mundane activities the stories explore the idea that our actions (to do) hide and yet reveal who we are (to be). Through the collaboration of the different artists and art forms, new work is generated from existing repertoire by juxtaposition, whereby a story links to a photo which in its turn inspires a dance which reminds one of a song which links to another photo which was originally inspired by a piece of music… The audience, will also assume an active position within this fluid performance structure.
Applicant: Warren Galea
Reference number: PSG-03-18-3502
Project Title: Warren Galea Jazz Guitar Album
Amount awarded: € 7,735
Warren Galea will record an original Jazz Guitar Trio album (Guitar, Bass, and Drums). Warren will be playing with two of the most in-demand musicians in New York City: Andy McKee (bass) and Adam Nussbaum (drums). Warren has been studying at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan, New York, for the past three years, he was recently active in the New York Jazz scene, however this will be his first album as a bandleader. The album will be made up of Warren’s own original compositions. It will be recorded live at Trading8s Studios in New Jersey in October and will be released in January. In January there will also be an album launch concert at the Jazz Gallery, a non-profit Jazz venue in Manhattan, to celebrate and promote the release. The album will be available both digitally and on CD. Parts of the studio session as well as the entire concert will be filmed by Puerto Rican artist Josean Martinez.
Applicant: Jean-Marc Agius
Reference number: PSG-29-18-3531
Project Title: Maltese Voices
Amount awarded: €9750
Maltese Voices (working title) is a devised piece of music theatre led by Studio 18 and The New Victorians, in which the latter will also be performing. This performance, held in September will be opening the season of 2018/2019 at Spazju Kreattiv. The production will include a song cycle of approximately 50-60 minutes which will feature 10 young performers (aged between 18 and 28), including Remy Azzopardi from Novel, as well as The New Victorians and Rachel Fabri. Maltese Voices will explore the young person’s point of view of Maltese society – its expectations, idea of time and life-paths, and how this is imposed by adults and institutions on the individual from a very young age, leaving no room for a diverse sense of identity.
Applicant: Herman Grech
Reference number: PSG-04-18-3503
Project Title: De-terminated
Amount awarded: € 7,000
The play De-terminated is mainly based on interviews carried out towards the end of 2017, the play is an episodic narrative of seven different characters (all Maltese nationals, bar one) who talk about their different experiences with abortion. The script brings out the different perspectives - both anti-abortion and pro-choice - against a backdrop of intolerance, fear, frustration... and serious concern. The narrative will bring out the stark reality of a dilemma often played out behind the scenes. The play will be accompanied by a sound installation by Yasmin Kuymizakis at Spazju Kreattiv, which will seek to portray the lack of creative debate and the cacophony of arguments on both sides.
Applicant: Giuliana Fenech
Reference number: PSG-11-18-3513
Project Title: Sansuna and the Carob Tree
Amount awarded: € 8,000
Sansuna and the Carob Tree is a Maltese fairy tale, drawn from ancient folklore and legend reworked to modern themes, told in the oral tradition, in a tent. Sansuna and the Carob tree is a forty-minute storytelling experience for family audiences. It takes place inside a 5m diameter bell tent that will be pitched at Valletta Primary School in November 2018 as part of the Ziguzajg International Festival for Children and Young Adults. The audience is welcomed into the space by a storyteller who introduces the space and the storytelling experience. A soundscape then begins to narrate the prologue, featuring the voice of the carob tree. The central part of the story is also told through soundscape and live storytelling and invites the audience to solve riddles alongside one of the main characters, Katarin. As they sit on a bark-like floor they listen to the narrating voice and look for clues in the bark floor and the interactive light design installed in the tent. The epilogue is once more narrated by the carob tree through a soundscape. The story is researched and written by Giuliana Fenech (Lignin Stories) and is produced in collaboration with Ziguzajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People, The Amber Spark and Late Interactive.
Applicant: Angela Cassar
Reference number: PSG-23-18-3525
Project Title: Tessie Scerri
Amount awarded: € 9,500
Tessie Scerri, is a project that aims to map the life of a centenarian woman through the jewellery that she owns and has been passed down to her throughout this past century. Tereza Scerri also known as Tessie, is 101 years old, single, full of life and in good health. Tereza has a number of stories to tell, and has very good recollection of her past, however, this project will focus on events and memories that are linked to her modest jewellery collection. Ten interviews with Tessie will take place at her home in Senglea to collect all the information necessary, the interviews will be conducted in by Angela Cassar and Glen Calleja; each interview will be recorded. Following the interviews the stories will be further expanded by linking them to places, events, historical instances and existing imagery associated to the narrations. The project collation of all the information and text will pursue in collaboration with a graphic designer to commence the book design. The final product of this project will take the form of a book.
Applicant: Jean-Paul Migneco
Reference number: PSG-25-18-3527
Project Title: Chroma Terra
Amount awarded: € 5,000
Chroma Terra is a visual arts project in collaboration with Fablab Valletta, INIALA5, Intervisions and Esplora. Chroma Terra will incorporate a coherent body of work which draws inspiration from old and new forms of mapmaking, such as traditional topographic maps and contemporary chromo-stereoscopic maps, as well as old and new art forms. This body of work explores the ways in which landscape and colour-field artworks could be reinterpreted effectively through the use of stereoscopic painting, video, projection and printing methods in an attempt to enhance illusions of depth and flatness on 2D and 3D surfaces. This is done through the study of various fields of knowledge, primarily neurology, geology, stereography, cartography, landscape and colour theory. The project focuses on bringing these areas together in order to create a series of colour-field artworks which reinterpret two specific landscape topographies (Xaqqa Valley & Mount Fuji) that are located at different types of tectonic plate boundaries (diverging & converging). Since the work involves scientific notions related to colour perception and geology, plans have been made to host two in-kind workshops at Esplora in September.
Applicant: Unifaun Theatre Productions
Reference number: PSG-01-18-3314
Project Title: MACBETH
Amount awarded: € 10,000
Unifaun Theatre and Teatru Manoel will be co producing a dynamic and fresh production of Shakespeare's classic tragedy MACBETH. Top British Director Clive Judd has been commissioned to direct the play. Director Clive Judd was until recently Artistic Director of the renowned Red Lion Theatre in London and has been reviewed favorably internationally. His input and vision will lead to a dynamic new interpretation of the play. Which will be portrayed as seen through the mind of Macbeth, a delusional soldier. Whilst in Malta Judd will also be leading workshops in direction which will be open to the public.
Applicant: Jacob Piccinino
Reference number: PSG-09-18-3510
Project Title: Ħal-Fejn
Amount awarded: € 10,000
Ħal-Fejn? pays homage to selected villages in Malta by constructing a spectacle which is inspired by the respective locality's locals, rituals and traditions. The team will research and conduct interviews in three villages. The material will serve as the main inspiration for the performance; a show which will be held in each of the chosen places. The researcher will observe and ask questions to the locals regarding their thoughts on the place, what makes their town different than others and where does their home stand in the future. A short documentary will be produced at the end of this analysis and will be shown prior to the actual theatrical representation. The research will then be used for the devising process where the performers use the gathered 'data' in order to develop a world where its inhabitants and their situations are a reinvention of the source material. What makes this method more intriguing is the fact that the cast is international and thus, the foreigners' perception of the local day-to-day soul will be indeed, very different to that of the Maltese actors. Lying somewhere between burlesque, clowning and physical theatre, Ħal-Fejn aims to entertain but to also pose certain questions. The aim of this project is to challenge its spectators in terms of how they perceive their hometowns and how they discern themselves within their local context.
Applicant: Martin Azzopardi
Reference number: PSG-14-18-3516
Project Title: The Jew of Malta (JOM)
Amount awarded: € 8,000
The project aims to produce a classic 16th century play by Christopher Marlowe, ‘The Jew of Malta’, which turns Malta into the stage where the antagonism between Catholic, Jewish and Muslim communities is played out. The main themes of religious and political hypocrisy remain relevant in a contemporary world and in Malta. The project team will engage with local minority communities through local NGOs Integra Foundation and Spark 15, to represent their realities as authentically as possible by involving talented immigrants in aspects of the play production. Ultimately the project aims to leave a legacy of acceptance, religious awareness and artistic development through cultural activity and education.
Applicant: Charles Cassar
Reference number: PSG-26-18-3528
Project Title: Djun - Il-Ħlas
Amount awarded: € 4,065
Djun is composed of a number of established and upcoming musicians consisting of vocalist Justin Galea (Rockestra, KażinSka, Plato’s Dream Machine), keyboard player Paul Torpiano (Gianluca Bezzina, Tact), guitarist Ryen Refalo (The Voyage, Debbie Stivala), drummer Michael Vella Zarb (Pyramid Suns) and lead song-writer/bass player Charles Cassar (Fire, Tact, Zizza Ensemble). The project will culminate in the release of "Il-Ħlas", the group's debut album. The project is sub-titled "Kanzunetti divertenti dwar it-tmiem" and is intended as an exploration of the themes of death, loss, grief and closure through the medium of contemporary music in the Maltese language. The key aim of the project is that of creating music in the Maltese language that is (i) lyrically and musically challenging, yet (ii) sufficiently accessible to be able to reach a wide audience. Key collaborators will include - David Vella, as producer from Temple Studio. -Julian Mallia, an internationally recognized visual artist and illustrator.- Late Interactive, an innovative light design duo that use innovative technology to create new aesthetic experiences. Late Interactive will collaborate with the group in delivering performances that are striking and effective from both a musical as well as visual perspective. - Chris Vella, Photographer specialising in capturing Music Events with a genuine and authentic representation clearly visible in this photography.
Applicant: Ruben Zahra
Reference number: PSG-18-18-3655
Project Title: Kafka’s Insect
Amount awarded: €18,000
Kafka’s Insect is an interdisciplinary performance based on the short novel ‘The Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafka, published in 1915. The interdisciplinary profile of this performance presents the narrative through a cycle of video-art scenes and stop-motion animation, accompanied by a live piano score and vintage analogue synthesizers. The performance is premiered in September 2019.
Applicant: Glen Calleja
Reference number: PSG-38-18-3675
Project Title: KIN
Amount awarded:€ 10,000
KIN is a collaborative project that looks at 'dolls' as coveted objects that are universally present across continents, cultures and times. Glen Calleja and Lori Sauer, craftspersons and book artists, will be handcrafting a collection of some forty dolls based on traditional dolls from different parts of the world. The collection will then be photographed and presented to the public. The public will then be invited to 'book' a particular doll or a group of dolls for a short period of time. During this period, the dolls will be exhibited in their house or similar private setting where it can be seen, handled and made accessible to members of the household and guests. The dolls will be mailed together with a journal where its hosts can log details of their meeting with the doll. The dolls will be exhibited alongside their journals and additional documentation about their 'travels' at Studio Solipsis in Rabat, Malta.
Applicant: Karl Fiorini
Reference number: PSG-09-18-3642
Project Title: Karl Fiorini | Chamber works CD recording
Amount awarded:€ 14,000
The recording of Karl Fiorini’s chamber works is an artistic collaboration between Fiorini – composer, and four international artists; clarinet player Dimitri Ashkenazy (US-Switzerland), violinist Anton Sorokow (Russia-Austria), cellist Stefan Kropfritsch (Austria), and pianist Charlene Farrugia (Malta-Croatia). The recording shall explore the output of Fiorini’s oeuvre from his earliest compositions – at the time influenced by a Mediterranean musical aspect – to his more complex and mature works of today.
Applicant: Giuliana Fenech
Reference number: PSG-40-18-36-77
Project Title: Here where I belong
Amount awarded: € 12,000
Here Where I Belong is a limited edition handmade book containing a collection of 10 original fairy tales, created by storytellers from five different European countries - Malta, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary and Norway. The stories are curated by storyteller and researcher Giuliana Fenech, illustrated by visual artist Julinu and curated into a limited edition of 100 handmade books by Kotba Calleja. Each story in the collection is a celebration of the land that we belong to, most importantly each story reminds us of our connection to the physical earth as well as the lore that surrounds us.
Applicant: Anton Saliba
Reference number: PSG-33-18-3670
Project Title: Ninu
Amount awarded: €10,000
Ninu is a theatre piece on the theme of mental health. It follows the coming of age story of a young boy throughout his journey towards adulthood. His experiences through positive, challenging and complex moments, shared with friends, family, strangers and himself, all of which contribute to the discovery of his identity. The project aims to provide a look on mental health in today’s world, the struggles of those who deal with it daily and the stigma that it still holds in our society. The performance will take place at Spazzju Kreativ.
Applicant: The New Victorians
Reference number: PSG-05-18-3633
Project Title: Rave & Behave
Amount awarded: €5,000
The New Victorians starring in their brand new production for children, Rave & Behave, where live music, songwriting and electronic sounds meet the theatre world. A show written and directed by Erin Carter, with original music and songs composed and performed by The New Victorians. For musical sisters Bella and Blue, competition means serious business. So, when The New Victorians announce they are running a song writing competition to find their new support act, they have to enter and they have to win. This dynamic duo has just one day to make the ultimate ‘electro-acoustic’ pop hit but what does that mean and who turned off the WIFI!? Children are invited to help Bella and Blue on their quest to become legends before lunchtime, in this interactive jamming journey.
Applicant: Cathy Lawlor
Reference number: PSG-30-18-3667
Project Title: Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht
Amount awarded: €10,000
The Shrinking Violets wish are producing the epic theatre piece 'Mother Courage and Her Children' by Bertolt Brecht. 'Mother Courage and Her Children' is Brecht’s best known work, considered by some as the best play of the 20th century. The play demonstrates Brecht's resistance to facism at the onset of the second world war; encompassing principles of a political drama.
Applicant: Nadine Mercieca
Reference number: PSG-24-18-3661
Project Title: Għanjiet Imġedda
Amount awarded: €8,000
The project involves the reworking of Maltese tunes, where existing local compositions will undergo a process of re-imagination. The tunes will serve as a vehicle for experimentation to create an interesting, cutting edge sound through the combination of jazz with electronic sounds. The lead artist (Nadine Axisa) will team up with local jazz musician/arranger Joe Debono and producer/sound engineer David Vella.
Applicant: Carlo Muscat
Reference number: PSG-02-18-3597
Project Title: Classical Jazz (Working Title)
Amount awarded: €3,000
This project brings together two musicians from totally different backgrounds and musical cultures, in a collaboration which experiments with merging the worlds of jazz and classical music to create a unique sound. This sound is formed through the intermingling of the two approaches, mindsets, and music philosophies which are, generally, considered conflicting - the tension of this conflict is what will create the new sounds within this duo setup. The two artists involved are Maltese jazz saxophonist and composer Carlo Muscat, and Ukranian pianist Elena Pogulyaeva. Their repertoire features a series of classical compositions (mainly romantic and impressionist) which were selected for having particular characteristics which define their musical universe. In this project, the collaborators are not attempting to imitate each other's approach, but rather, feel free to relax into their own individual mentalities - the elements of risk-taking and discomfort are what define the resultant sounds of this collaboration. The project features a studio recording in Kiev and a subsequent live performance in Malta.