Published on Thursday 7 March 2019

Supported by Bank of Valletta

The three artists taking part in the Malta Pavilion at the 58th international art exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia are currently delivering workshops to students in Malta and Cyprus.

Vince Briffa, Trevor Borg and Klitsa Antoniou are each presenting a creative workshop based on their artistic installations, which will be exhibited at the Malta Pavilion in Venice between May and November this year.

“This will be a uniquely important gesture by the Malta National Pavilion, one that asserts the importance of public engagement in the arts across all ages,” said Arts Council Malta executive chair Albert Marshall.

By means of this outreach programme, children, sixth form students as well as University students in Malta and in Cyprus will participate in a set of creative workshops to explore the concept of the Malta Pavilion. The students will also produce their own artworks.

A workshop by Prof Vince Briffa, which will run between February and November, will focus on his film installation ‘Outland’. The workshops direct students to take a self-reflexive and introspective approach to their work, challenging themselves to work out of their comfort zones in a variety of media. The first workshop was focused on the act of drawing/writing as an introspective tool, where groups of students were urged to alternate their drawing and writing instincts using charcoal and pastel on paper.

“We will move from seeing the act of drawing as a means to produce the image of an object to one that becomes part of a thinking process, generating knowledge in the course of making images, oscillating between text and image,” said Prof Vince Briffa.   

Artist Trevor Borg also conducted a workshop at Għar Dalam Cave with students from Żabbar Primary school.  

The workshop consisted of an animated story-telling activity inside the cave followed by a creative workshop. Following the story-telling activity, students proceeded to the educational room for a creative practical workshop. The artist introduced the students to the Venice Art Biennale and the theme of Malta’s Pavilion for 2019. The artist then explained the task of the workshop and together with the assistance of other team members, students created imaginary animal remains out of clay.

The other workshop by artist Klitsa Antoniou is being held in Cyprus with first-year Art students of the Fine Arts Department at the Cyprus University of Technology. The workshop will run over four months. Following an introduction on Klitsa’s installation at the Malta Pavilion - Atlantropa X, the students will be given the hypothesis that they have to build a bridge/land crossing on the sea. They will first conduct research using drawings and small constructions with various materials. Besides the learning outcomes of sculpture building, the aim of the workshop is to guide students to reflect on the limitations of movement imposed on refugees and migrants.

Maleth / Haven / Port - Heterotopias of Evocation is the title of the selected curatorial project that will represent Malta at the next Biennale di Venezia in 2019.

The winning team is composed of Dr Hesperia Iliadou Suppiej (lead curator), Vince Briffa (artist), Klitsa Antoniou (artist), Trevor Borg (artist) and Perit Matthew Joseph Casha (architect/designer). The production manager is Mr George Lazoglou.

The Venice Art Biennale is one of the largest exhibitions of contemporary art in the world, and Malta will once again be participating with its own Pavilion during the 58th edition of this international art exhibition.

Bank of Valletta is supporting these students’ workshops.  Bank of Valletta prides itself as the patron of the local arts and culture scene and keenly supports children and youths in their artistic exploration.