Emerging artist Anna Calleja plans first solo show for March 2021

Artist Anna Calleja is currently building a body of work for her solo show in March of 2021 at the Palazzo De La Salle

Calleja’s work presents an introspective and personal response to her surroundings
Calleja’s work presents an introspective and personal response to her surroundings

By Roberta Micallef

Emerging artist Anna Calleja is currently building a body of work for her solo show in March of 2021 at the Palazzo De La Salle, home of the Malta Society of Arts. She recently graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Falmouth University, partly funded by the Malta Arts Scholarship scheme.

Calleja’s work presents an introspective and personal response to her surroundings. Although she works with various materials, her current body of work primarily consists of representational paintings and prints using traditional techniques of oil painting and printmaking. Distinctive qualities characterise her work, including muted earthy colours and her ability to convey textures of home; the wooliness of a jumper and the subtle shine on a leather shoe. The figures in her work, often a reflection of herself, are suspended in a quiet and contemplative space.

Emerging artist Anna Calleja
Emerging artist Anna Calleja

The stillness almost becomes an act of transgression against our current day to day fast-paced system that relies on constant productivity. Her work is often fuelled by her sensitivity towards political and social issues that have habitually played a role in her life and artistic practice. Calleja speaks about her work with honesty and vulnerability, dissecting each piece into personal experiences and layered concepts; from deactivating the male gaze in the reclining female nude, to the act of looking out into uncertainty, as in Casper David Friedrich’s “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog”.

The reflected eeriness is balanced with elements of comfort and connection; such as soft textures, facetime calls, and two pairs of cosy slippers. The work is relatable, consistently evoking feelings of belonging and domesticity. From the way a mirror fogs up, to crumpled bed sheets and soft textured clothing - Calleja’s work is uniquely familiar.

Anna Calleja has exhibited locally and abroad, including Wignacourt Museum, Tate St.Ives, Porthmeor Studios and the Mall Galleries in London. Her painting, “Alone in Quarantine” has recently been awarded a Winsor and Newton Young Artist Award from the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. Calleja shines bright and humble with her outstanding repertoire at just 22 years of age.

To keep updated on her journey towards her first solo show in March 2021, follow her on Instagram @annacallejapaints or visit her website www.annacalleja.co.uk.

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