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MT 19 October 2014

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29 this week CAPTIVATING CYPRUS PG 38 short Festival maltatoday, SUNdAY, 19 OCTObeR 2014 PeAS IN A POd PGS 36, 37 VAPId VAMPIRe PG 34 How would you describe the 'brief' of this particular exhibition, and how did you go about interpreting it? My interpretation of this exhibi- tion was pretty straightforward. I don't like taking photos of myself, and I don't even like painting my- self. Yet, this painting (pictured), to me is an explosion of strong emotions, to me, pure energy… and strangely enough it was in- spired by FW Murnau's classic film Nosferatu (1922) – I pictured myself as 'the Scarecrow' when I painted it. What kind of work will you be exhibiting as part of the show? The painting is, of course, a self portrait. It is stylised, with my face diluted by the paint as if it's vanishing – long shadows look like extensions of my own nails (like Nosferatu's shadow) and a deep look with black, rough out- lines. What do you make of Studio 104 as a space, and what does it offer that other – perhaps more prominent – galleries do? Studio 104 seems well organised and well-situated. I think, the fact that studio owns an Albion press is also an asset. I believe more im- portant events will be organised there, and it is an honor for me to work exhibit at the venue. How has your style developed over the years, and what have been some of the most important things you've learnt? I have changed this year, and consequently my style is chang- ing. My work reflects myself and my state of mind. Thus, few years ago I was experimenting with Ren- aissance techniques and obses- sive blending. Now I am more in- terested in expression and tactile qualities. 'The Scarecrow' is the first of this new strand of paint- ing. It is polished like all the other works, but more free – fresh. My work is always a reflection of my- self. If I am happy it shows in my paintings. If I'm not, it shows in my paintings. I'm pretty straight forward on the whole – it's me. What, in your opinion, are some of the most pressing concerns of the visual arts scene in Malta, especially now in the run-up to V18? I believe art is free and shouldn't be labeled. I don't believe in classi- cal, baroque, contemporary art… honestly, I believe in simply 'art'. As regards to Malta I would like to see more fusions of 'academic' paintings and drawing and mod- ern technology – meaning sounds and installations. I think that such collaborations could lead to a more widespread appreciation of the artwork, and immerse the viewer in the expe- rience. I think that work which interacts with the public – and this applies to installations in particular – is the most immediate and attrac- tive kind of work. Selfie will be open until October 25. Opening hours at Studio 104 are 11:00 to 17:00 from Tuesday to Friday and 11:00 to 14:00 on Saturday Waking the vampire within We speak to artist Franco Navarro about his participation in 'Selfie' – an exhibition of self-portraits by a healthy number of contemporary Maltese artists at Studio 104, Valletta to consider him for the role," Bon- nici said. "Mark and I have been working together on some yet to be an- nounced projects over the past six months so we already had a good rapport. The idea quickly grew on me and he got the role," Bonnici added. Laqgħa ma' Mara Morbi will be premiered on November 15 as part of the National Book Festival at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, where it will be screened at 20:30. For more information about the Festival search for 'Na- tional Book Council' on Facebook

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