The trouble of time

Following the MCAST Fine Arts students end-of-year exhibition – this year entitled ‘Leave a Mark’ Teodor Reljic speaks to their students about their progress through the course, and how they plan to develop their work and aesthetic in the future. This week, he speaks to Emma Grima and Domnick Sorace

Beyond Perception by Emma Grima
Beyond Perception by Emma Grima

When did you first decide to pursue the visual arts, and how did you first set about following this passion? 

Emma Grima: I have always had a passion for art but only recently decided to study it full time. After sitting for my A ‘levels, I was stuck between two disciplines: art and science. I finally chose the path I knew would make me happier and decided to presume a BA in Fine Arts at MCAST.

Domnick Sorace: I have always had an inclination towards art from an early age, but decided to take this passion seriously when I attended Giovanni Curmi Secondary School, acquiring my O Level under the guidance of Robert Zahra, in the time frame of one year. That amount of time was enough for me to conclude that Fine Arts was something which I wanted to study further, in great depth, at MCAST Institute of Creative Arts. To date, I can honestly that this was the best decision taken, as I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

How would you describe your experience at MCAST, and how has it affected your progress as an artist?

EG: My educational experience has been a positive one. I came from a traditional educational background and had to adapt to a practical educational system. I realised that this method of learning suited me better and saw a great improvement in my work method and technique. The course challenges and pushes us to work hard while making us conscious about meeting our deadlines. What I feel that made me progress most is being surrounded by great students and teachers with different capabilities and ways of thinking that has influenced the way I tackle my work.

DS: My experience at MCAST has been like a rollercoaster ride, with its ups and downs, both contributing to a more mature idea of this artistic career, which I am pursuing. It has taught me how to produce art works of a good consistency of skills and concepts. Thanks to MCAST I now am able to manifest my ideas in a much wider range of mediums, such as the traditional ones of ceramics, print making, photography, and my absolute favourite, oil painting, which I am currently specialising in. I have also come to understand divergent thinking, which sometimes can lead me to use unconventional materials such, embroidery, glass, collages and also using the above mentioned mediums in a non-conventional way.

Could you speak about your contribution to ‘Leave a Mark’? How did you interpret the brief, and what do you hope to express with the work you’ve presented? 

EG: The work which we created for this exhibition stemmed off from the seven main themes of contemporary art. I chose to follow the themes of science and time in hope of challenging and making my viewers realise the limitations of the human eye sight. I went about this by showing them three works: one was an optical illusion and consisted of flickering lights on water which transform the appearance of a steady stream into droplets. The second was achieved through photography, by capturing an image not visible to the naked eye (which only captures an average of 45 frames per second). The camera on the other hand, captures up to 4,000. 

One experiences depictions of the frozen moment through two different mediums: photography (where I allow the viewers to see beyond their capacity of frames per second), and sculpture, where one experiences solidifies wax/aluminium after it touches water and thus experiences the frozen moment.

DS: My contribution to the ‘Leave a Mark’ Exhibition consisted of a triptych which revolves around the retrieval of my own memories, selecting three that have gained a significant meaning along the years. These memories were recovered in a non-chronological order, using the method of automatic writing in the form of small paragraphs. The nature of the process allowed me to gain momentum, recovering more and more information about specific events. The paragraphs act as starting point to be later visualized metaphorically rather than directly, through the medium of collages, constructed and reconstructed from various and unrelated pictures found online, to form one single image. 

My characters are placed in a domestic setting which represents the “familiar”, while their actions create the contrasting effect of the “peculiar”. This allows the viewers to create their own assumptions and stories of what each individual painting can possibly narrate, perhaps relating them to their own meaningful memories.