Emotion in full technicolour

Following the MCAST Art and Design End-of- Year exhibition, MaltaToday interviews some of Malta’s (hopefully) up-and-coming artists. This week, we speak to Lisa Formosa

Lisa Formosa's 'Reactive Empathy' installation
Lisa Formosa's 'Reactive Empathy' installation

‘Reactive Empathy’ is based on the importance of gesture and expression in communication. Participants were filmed while being shown the same series of 16 images. The viewer finds himself mimicking the expression, displayed on a circular array of screens, without experiencing the stimulus.

What are the most important things you’ve learnt at MCAST this year?

This year was my last year at the MCAST Institute of Art and Design. I was a stressful year due to the fact that, along with a number of modules, a thesis had to be done as well. But looking at the bright side it was all worth it.

Looking back at this year, the times that come to mind are when as a whole class we worked together to put up a professional exhibition space, as well as working individually to produce our own work to exhibit.

Throughout this year the MCAST gave me the chance to experience new things, such as exhibiting a Sculpture at the Verdala Garden, also in a group of three. I also learnt how to professionally present exhibited works and my teachers helped inspire me to explore and improve my work.


How would you compare your progress this year to that of last year?

Looking back at the scholastic year of 2012/2013 I believe that my work has improved with the help of teachers and even classmates. Through the years I have learnt different techniques that I later applied to my artwork.

Taking the comments on this year’s exhibition space into consideration, it seems that it has also improved from last year’s, giving that this year it was quite stressful and hectic due to the fact that just 12 students had to transform two rooms into a professional exhibition space. And I think we succeeded.

What are some of your key themes and artistic preoccupations? Have they evolved in any way during your time at MCAST?

Over the five years I spend at MCAST, my themes have changed. During this time I produced a number of works that had to be themed according to the module given. It was in the last two years that I began to create work that shows my identity, also producing video art, which I had never done before.

My work in video art was mainly in the form of stop-motion videos and recordings. While attending MCAST I had also sought the help of a number of teachers and did my own research to learn about video editing, helping me to professionalize my work further.

What will be next step for you?

I am applying to do a Masters of Fine Art in Digital Arts at the University of Malta in an effort to further explore the digital art world. Meanwhile I hope to take on short coursesto help me improve my work and become more knowledgeable about this particular subject.

I am also considering living and studying abroad for some time, in order to gain experience and explore other culture. I think this will also serve as a window into a completely new artistic world and a chance to try new techniques.