Opening on Thursday 1 July 2021 at the Malta Society of Arts’ (MSA) seat Palazzo de La Salle in Valletta, the exhibition titled Rooftops will present a series of 20 paintings and 15 sculptures that address the concept of isolation and individual confinement within designated spaces as a result of the pandemic. Thomas Scerri’s works will focus especially on the additional stress and mental health deterioration caused by the current rampant construction on the local environment and the destruction of public natural spaces that are proven to be beneficial for mental disorders.
Like many other artists, Scerri found the time to experiment with new materials and new working methods throughout 2020. “Although my primary medium is sculpture, I feel that different projects require different materials. For this particular exhibition, I integrated construction waste such as wood and concrete within the sculptures to add value to the concept. In general, I find myself comfortable working in sheet metal which is commonly found throughout my work. When it comes to painting and drawing, I tend to use various media, and in this series, I also incorporated construction material to simulate the wall textures I was after,” comments Scerri.
Through studio visits and discussions, exhibition curator Roderick Camilleri and Scerri were able to establish a body of work that presents a very particular creative and artistic expression of our contemporary context. Explaining how visitors will experience the show, Camilleri explains that the space within the Art Galleries of Palazzo de La Salle will be used as a stage for this specific collection of minimalist abstract works. “The viewer will have an opportunity to engage with these works and appreciate how these architectonic structures represent the artist’s perspective of the current times on our local scene,” he adds.
For Scerri, the creative process for Rooftops started with the taking of photographs. “I was looking for minimal shots and I could only find this by looking up between sky and architecture. This inspired me to translate the images into sculpture. The paintings were then derived from these sculptures, but I also reverted to the photos, going back and forth, abstracting and simplifying the work.”
MSA President Arch. Adrian Mamo is proud that the MSA will be hosting Scerri’s striking works this summer. “Here at MSA, we hope that Scerri’s sculptures and paintings will offer a new perspective on contemporary local life. These works will surely cause viewers to reflect upon their environment, and this is what art should be about.”
Visual art exhibition Rooftops by Thomas Scerri can be visited at Palazzo de La Salle in Valletta from 1 to 22 July 2021, opening Monday to Friday 8am to 12:30pm, 3pm to 6pm, and Saturdays 9am to 1.30pm. Entrance is free subject to Covid-19 safety measures. For more information, please visit www.artsmalta.org or www.facebook.com/maltasocietyofarts.