I am a portrait and marine artist mainly working in soft pastels but also graphite, charcoal, watercolour and acrylics as well as in mixed media.
People have always intrigued me. I had mentally created stories about the strangers I encountered in public spaces and eventually began expressing them through visual images. I portray people individually and in their relations to each other, usually from life, from memory and imagination and from my own photographic refrences aiming to render the complexity of their personalities. If I don't depict people, it is still about them either it is an empty bench in the park or two parasols left at the beach.
Having moved to Malta in 2017, I was missing a sense of belonging so I started exploring these feelings through graphite drawings where only hands and feet represented a human. I incorporated scent into this work as smell is known as a strong trigger of memories but also something very easily lost. 'Evanescent Memories' became part of the European multi-sensory art project AMUSE and were shown in the Malta Society of Arts's Exhibition 'Perception' in Valletta in August 2018.
For the past year, I have been working on a series of pastels exploring sea waters I called ‘Meditations’. In the West European culture time is perceived as a rapidly moving river unavoidably leading us to the end and leaving us with no choice – a rather frightening image. Through these paintings of calm waters I explore time as a substance continuously moving with and around us, present in all its aspects in the here and now. One of the 'Meditations' was part of the Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition at Mall Galleries, London, UK, in October 2018, while 'Meditation I. Morning' is now available through Christine X Art Gallery in Sliema, Malta.
Currently, I am working on the series of large waves as a reflection of my very intimated relationship with the sea. Painting breaking waves is also an attempt to grasp a breathtaking moment and hold it longer than it is actually possible. A wave is a visual metaphor of a human life in comparison to eternity.
Exhibitions (upcoming and past):
International Association of Pastel Society’s 34th Juried Exhibition PastelWorld, Hotel Albuquerque, NM, USA, 4.6.-9.6.2019
Juried exhibiton of the Association of professional artists of Austria/Berufsvereinigung der bildenden Künstler Österreichs 'Shape of water', Wasserturm Favoriten, Windtenstraße 3, 11oo Vienna, Austria, 3.9.-7.9.2019
Collective juried exhibition at Casino Notabile, Rabbat, Malta, 20.4.-28.4.2019
Allura Malta Open Art Studios Trail, Cavalieri Art Hotel in St Julian's, 3.11.-4.11.18 https://allura.com.mt/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/TrailNEW2-768x1087.jpg
The Pastel Society of Malta's Annual Exhibition, Ir-Razzett tal-Markiz Mallia Tabone, Mosta, Malta, 13.10.-27.10.18
Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition2018, Mall Galleries, London, UK, 11.10.-20.10.2018
Malta Society of Arts Members' multi-sensorial Exhibition 'Perception', Palazzo De La Salle, Valletta, 2.8.-30.8.2018
Collective exhibition at the Ministry for Gozo, Victoria, Malta, 3.8.-21.8.18
Collective exhibition at Hilltop Gardens, Hilltop Gardens, Naxxar, Malta, 22.6.-24.6.2018
Pastel Society of Malta's group exhibition (with guests) 'Qrendi Parish and Its Surroundings', Qrendi Parish Centre, Malta, 2.06.2018-10.06.2018
Collective international exhibition 'Poesie der Grafik'/'Poetry of Graphic Art', KreativRaum Galerie, Riemergasse 2, 1010, Vienna, Austria, 11.06.2018-23.06.2018
Group exhibition of the Association of professional Artists of Austria 'Aufbruch zum Licht'/'Towards the Light',
Otto-Mauer-Zentrum, Vienna, Austria, 22.03.2018-27.06.2018
International Exhibition 'Fabriano in Acquarello'/'Fabriano in Watercolour', Fabriano, Italy, 3-7 May 2018
'Eigene Sicht der Dinge', Association of professional Artists of Austria, Kunstsalon Schönbrunn, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria, 13.01.2018-31.01.2018
The Pastel Society of Malta's 11th Annual Exhibition, Palazzo de La Sale, Valletta, Malta, November 30th-December 19th, 2017
Fear and Inspiration’ by Iggy Fenech, The Sunday Times of Malta https://www.timesofmalta.com/…/…/fear-and-inspiration.699111
'How I made ... Immersion’, Artists&Illustrators Magazine, UK, November 2018
Guest blog for Pegasus Art https://www.pegasusart.co.uk/blog/2018/11/
‚Follow the Trail‘ by Esther Lafferty , The Sunday Times of Malta https://www.timesofmalta.com/…/arts…/follow-the-trail.692776
Malta Independent - PERCEPTION - The Malta Society of Arts' members' annual exhibition - Members of the Malta Society of Arts speak to Carla Zahra about their contribution to PERCEPTION - the current exhibition being showcased at Palazzo de La Salle, curated by Roderick Camilleri
For the latest news and to see my work in progress