These fragments I have shored against my ruin

We speak to Brendan Buttigieg, Julia Grech and Matthew Schembri, a trio of art education graduates exhibiting their work at St James Cavalier, Valletta under the ‘Frammenti/Fragments’ banner

Art by Brendan Buttigieg
Art by Brendan Buttigieg
Art by Julia Grech
Art by Julia Grech
Matthew Schembri
Matthew Schembri

Could you tell me a bit about the dynamics of your ‘team’? How did you first meet, and why did you decide to set up this exhibition together?

This exhibition is in part fulfillment of our University Degree to become art educators. Therefore we met each other in October 2011 when we started our first year of study. As a group we researched, worked and studied together the different study units we had.

Why did you think that ‘fragments’ made for a good exhibition theme? 

The chosen theme – Frammenti/Fragments – deals with the complex and fragmented nature of reality. This reflects the differences between ourselves and our artistic works; therefore we think that the title represents the three of us.

How would you describe your individual influences and styles, and how will they be made to fit in the exhibition?

Our emotional frameworks, personal and physical identities, our urban and natural surroundings, our social behaviour and relationship with contemporary technologies and networks: all of these aspects have influenced our work. We also carried out research on diverse fields such as: the history of art, literature and philosophy. These led each one of us to produce our own personal work, making use of a variety of media and technical processes: digital photographic works, drawings and installations.

How would you describe your evolution as artists so far? Which important lessons have you learnt in an academic context, and which have you picked up on your own steam?

During the University course we have been taught by a number of lecturers and artists who have challenged our ideas and assisted us during the artistic process. We have explored how we can translate our thoughts into different media and technical processes. Through several study-units we have been taught several skills which we can apply to our artistic exploration.

How would you describe the local arts scene in Malta? What would you change about it?

As time is passing by, the local art scene is changing continuously. There is a growing number of various art projects and initiatives which involve the participation of artists of all ages and from different environments. We would suggest further opportunities to young artists to be able to participate in artistic events and eventually be introduced to the global art world community.

What’s next for you?

This year we will be graduating as Art teachers. We are also willing to participate in future collective and solo exhibitions. Moreover, as art educators we will also encourage our students to exhibit their art works by setting up exhibitions both at school and also in their communities.

Frammenti/Fragments will be on display at St James Cavalier, Valletta from May 22 to June 15