Maltese visual artist Maria Borg’s second solo exhibition, featuring a series of 23 works, will open at the Malta Society of Arts’ (MSA) seat Palazzo de La Salle in Valletta between 3 and 24 June 2021. This series of oil paintings, titled Touch Me after one of the works, is very personal for the artist, depicting textures of fabrics and bedsheets with all their different connotations. Through her works, Borg explores themes like absence through presence, longing and loss.
The exhibition has been in the making for over two years. Borg started painting again after a long period of inactivity. “In many ways, I feel that the unproductive time helped fuel and push me to work as hard as I could once I got the opportunity to start painting again,” she reveals. “The act of painting itself is a vital aspect of the work. I am very intrigued by different textures and what they connote, and the challenge of painting them. I explored various materials: patterned, reflective and soft fabrics. The act of painting these materials is an important layer in itself, while another layer is what the work depicts; the objects, words and phrases.”
The 23 works on display will include 16 oils on canvas – which is Borg’s preferred medium – four diptychs, and three charcoal studies, which according to the artist show a certain flow and urgency that is not present in the paintings. “The exhibition explores a variety of themes. I started the series with works which were very much in the tradition of still life. But as the work progressed, I started to explore the use of text and phrases; some of which are very emotionally charged, while others are simple and left up to interpretation,” she explains.
Curator Michael Fenech has designed the exhibition at the Art Galleries of the MSA as a short journey, with a rigorous order dictated by the development of the subjects of the paintings. The artworks engage the viewer, inviting connection and reflection. Commenting about his role in the project, Fenech explains that “as a curator my first duty is to try and understand what the artist is all about. I only curate artists who I admire, and I admire artists who remain true to themselves, even as they are trying to face inconvenient truths through their art.”
Fenech describes the artist as “an extremely talented young artist, whose art is a genuine expression of emotion and intellect. Her style is original and very personal. Visiting this exhibition should feel like glimpsing inside a person’s internal life.”
MSA President Arch. Adrian Mamo is looking forward to seeing the works hanging at MSA’s Art Galleries in the coming weeks, and remarks that the MSA is proud to be hosting its fourth exhibition for 2021. “Notwithstanding all the chaos that has gripped our lives in the past year and a half, we feel that it’s important to keep sharing the beauty of daily things which we take for granted through the works of artists such as Maria Borg,” he observes.
Maria Borg’s exhibition ‘Touch Me’ opens between 3 and 24 June 2021 at Palazzo de La Salle, 219, Republic Street, Valletta. Entrance is free and subject to COVID-19 safety measures. For more information and opening hours please visit www.artsmalta.org/events or www.facebook.com/maltasocietyofarts.