Bonds, an exhibition by Nadya Peovska and Lilyana Ger, and curated by Roderick Camilleri, will present 34 artworks at the Malta Society of Arts’ (MSA) galleries at Palazzo de La Salle in Valletta. Showcasing a variety of media, the exhibition will present visual narratives revolving around the concepts of family bonding, memory and identity.
The idea of a joint exhibition by the two sisters who have very distinctive styles and artistic careers came about as they were both planning to put up a show, so they decided to collaborate. Choosing Bonds as the title, originating from the bond they experience as siblings, their works then progressed to explore a vaster meaning of the word. While Ger is based in Malta, her sister Peovska works in Bulgaria, so they each prepared for the show in their country of location, helping each other by discussing, providing feedback and being critical of each other’s work.
“The process of preparation for the exhibition has been a very interesting and emotional journey, and one of the works by my sister Lilyana called ‘Growing together’ symbolises it all,” remarks Peovska. “While creating the paintings, I explored the connection between my sister and myself, the bond with the family and the roots and other associations related to the topic of the bond in its various expressions. I found inspiration in memories from my childhood and family photos. The exhibition will include some physical collages that are based on these images, and I also prepared a small installation which includes 150 old family photos sewed onto traditional Bulgarian crochet,” continues the established Bulgarian artist.
As for Ger, seeing some of the works produced by her sister provoked very emotional responses. ‘‘Seeing Nadya’s work ‘Meeting I’ made me cry. It touched me on a deep personal level because meeting my family or saying goodbye to them at the airport has always been deeply emotional,” recalls Ger, as she explained her creative process for Bonds. “As with all my work, preparation for Bonds started with brainstorming through reading on the topic, observing various images related to the topic, and in this case – just like my sister – I was also looking at family photos. Some of the ideas I had were turned into photos which I then reworked into new digital artworks. In many cases the time between the first idea being born and its final implementation was quite long. It takes time until you find the best way of expressing the idea that you had in the beginning of the process.”
In his role as curator for the exhibition, Roderick Camilleri had to weave together the two artists’ diverse modes of expression: “This exhibition will provide distinctive visual miscellanea, showcasing a variety of media,” he says. “However, one interesting defining element will be the use of composites such as bricolage and digital collages. This show will be a unique opportunity for all art lovers and art connoisseurs to experience how these two sisters relate to each other and externalise mutual, and at times, personal longings, reflections and recollections about kindred metaphors.”
Bonds will be the first exhibition at the Malta Society of Arts after a short summer break following Thomas Scerri’s Rooftops in July. While noting that this is the first time ever that the Society is hosting a show by two sisters, MSA Manager Joe Scerri stated that he is always pleased to see Members of the MSA taking the initiative to exhibit at Palazzo de La Salle.
The visual art exhibition ‘Bonds’ by Nadya Peovska and Lilyana Ger is on between the 2 and 23 September at the Malta Society of Arts’ seat Palazzo de La Salle in Valletta. Entrance is free, subject to Covid-19 safety measures. For more information and opening hours please visit www.artsmalta.org/events or www.facebook.com/maltasocietyofarts.