Salvaging items back into art pieces | NO.ME Studio Valletta

Showing that sustainability in the arts doesn’t have to be just a buzzword, Matthew Attard and Deborah Rossetto of NO.ME Studio in Valletta speak to Teodor Reljic about the philosophy behind their store and space, which consists in large part of items ‘recycled’ back into art objects for all to enjoy

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic
28 September 2016, 9:10am
The duo behind NO.ME: Matthew Attard and Deborah Rossetto
The duo behind NO.ME: Matthew Attard and Deborah Rossetto
Could you tell us a little bit about your journey from being an artist, to eventually opening the NO.ME studio? How did one lead to the other, and are they actually all that separate after all?

They are not that separate in reality. The idea behind NO.ME studio is that of an art and design collective effort focusing on unique projects and items. My personal artistic research continues to evolve parallel to NO.ME’s activities, as well as my colleague’s, Deborah Rossetto. We would also like the venue itself to be flexible in its own transformations through temporary events and installations, for example just last week we opened a two-week exhibition: ‘In Human’.

NO.ME studio specialises in upcycled materials converted into interior design objects and art accessories
NO.ME studio specialises in upcycled materials converted into interior design objects and art accessories
What is the philosophy behind NO.ME, and what kind of products can visitors expect to find at the place which reflect that way of thinking and approach to the craft?

The NO.ME venue in Valletta is a concept store where we showcase a variety of items from small unique gift ideas to interior design objects, clothing to photography, and accessories to art items. Each available item at the store is unique and hand-made, sometimes with a strong upcycling design presence. NO.ME is interested in the process of re-applying discarded materials with a thorough research and attention to art and design.

Apart from the store items, we also work on specific projects and commissions, as well as our own individual art research. 

Being a collective, our different interdisciplinary background permits us to work on a variety of projects.  

 Each item is unique and hand-made, sometimes with a strong upcycling design presence
Each item is unique and hand-made, sometimes with a strong upcycling design presence
Your fusion of art and business, and the fact that you’re located in Valletta itself, arguably make you the perfect example of a creative team taking full advantage of Valletta’s position as an aspiring cultural ‘hub’, especially ahead of Valletta 2018. How true do you think this is, and are you actually seeing a move towards such a hub?

Yes, we did actually want to locate our venue in Valletta due to its aspiring transformation into a cultural ‘hub’, but also as we see and believe in the city’s potential. However, “taking advantage” is currently a bit of a strong phrase. We do get the opportunity to meet and talk with important and interesting individuals who are either already in Valletta or passers-by, but much more needs to be done for the city to become the intended international cultural ‘hub’.

A lot of sacrifice comes into with it
A lot of sacrifice comes into with it
What advice would you give to artists and creative professionals aspiring to introduce a similar entrepreneurial element to their creative work? What challenges should they look forward to, and what are some of the main things they should watch out for?

Most probably it is too early for us to be able to give some real advice, however a lot of sacrifice with respect to one’s own time and money is imperative.

NO.ME is located in 91b, Republic Street, Valletta, and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 18:30. The exhibition ‘In Human’ will be running at the venue until October 1. For more information, log on to: http://nomestudiovalletta.tumblr.com/

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic is MaltaToday's culture editor and film critic. He joined t...