An exhibition of around 40 paintings titled Seħer il-Baħar by established artist Anna Galea opens this Thursday 3 November at the Malta Society of Arts’ (MSA) seat Palazzo de La Salle in Valletta. Showcasing works that the artist created over the past four years, the exhibition includes large oils and mixed-media paintings on canvas, as well as large-scale and smaller watercolour paintings.
Galea is primarily known for her watercolour works. However, the pandemic inspired and offered her the time to experiment and explore different creative avenues. “Watercolour affords a translucency that no other medium can give,” reflects Galea. “Having said that, this time, I am also exhibiting in oils, acrylics and mixed media because I feel that for creativity to flourish, I cannot chain myself to a particular medium. Besides, I do paint, and have been painting, in oils and acrylics too throughout my painting career. Furthermore, what one can do in oils, one cannot do in watercolour, and vice-versa”.
The works forming part of Seħer il-Baħar (Mesmerising Seas) are driven by Galea’s urge to express her feelings through her art, while reflecting the emotions evoked by the sea and the memories attached to it. “I live by the sea and often go for walks by the coast. As a child, during the summer holidays my parents always rented a place a few metres off the seashore, and we used to spend all day swimming and snorkelling, while in the evenings we relished the cool sea breeze, eating ħobż biż-żejt and summer fruits. In those days, mobile phones were still undreamed of,” she reminisces.
Expanding on her experimentation with different media and how this exhibition came about, Galea explains that the title piece Seħer il-Baħar is a seminal work that was a point of departure for many paintings that followed. “Seħer il-Baħar is an abstract acrylics on canvas work that I planned as a background for a painting. However, I soon realised that, for me, magic was happening, so I stopped adding to it. I must admit that I would be very sorry to part with this painting as I feel it is a landmark piece in my career,” she adds.
Exhibition curator Roderick Camilleri worked with Galea to design the aesthetic and artistic content of this upcoming exposition. “The works presented are highly personal and they probe into the artist’s innermost fascinations, inspirations, and motivations,” he comments. “Visitors will have the opportunity to appreciate Galea’s new experimental interpretations, inspired by aquatic life and organic elements.”
MSA President Arch. Adrian Mamo is glad to be welcoming back Anna Galea after her successful show at the MSA at the beginning of 2020. “The Malta Society of Arts is delighted that Anna’s gorgeous works will be gracing our Galleries yet again and we look forward to seeing the audience’s reaction to her latest experimentations.”
Seħer il-Baħar is an exhibition by Anna Galea and curated by Roderick Camilleri taking place at the Malta Society of Arts’ Art Galleries between 3 and 24 November 2022. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm, and Saturdays 9am to 1pm. Entrance is free. For more details about the exhibition please visit www.artsmalta.org or www.facebook.com/maltasocietyofarts.