Embellishing life | Zoe Chomarat

Ahead of the launch of her new exhibition ‘Hazard and Imaginary’, French-born but Malta-based painter Zoe Chomarat speaks about the driving forces behind her work, whose proceeds from this exhibition will go towards the cause of abandoned animals on the island

Making her way to Malta from France a whopping 18 years ago and never looking back since, painter Zoe Chomarat is certainly happy to have found an adoptive homeland; one that appeals to her personally while also inspiring her creative pathway.

“I fell in Malta 18 years ago, and that feeling is still very much intact. Sure, I’ve seen the changes happen -- on the negative side, it’s become a bit of a concrete jungle of late, with the traffic situation only growing worse and worse with each passing day,” Chomarat says, rushing however to supplement her observations with a positive flipside.

Zoe Chomarat
Zoe Chomarat

“I really appreciate that public spaces have undergone extensive embellishment, that most things are available for us now and that there’s better shops and restaurants all round.”

But there is one unfortunate aspect of living on this archipelago that she has not seen change -- or at least, not as much as she’d like.

“The plight of abandoned animals remains the same as it’s always been ever since I first landed, and the need to help them is always urgent. All of my exhibitions have been organised in aid of these animals, and this one will be no exception,” Chomarat says in reference to ‘Hazard and Imaginary’, which opens at St John’s Cavalier on December 8.

Her commitment to the cause certainly checks out, as a previous interview with this newspaper shows. Speaking to MaltaToday back in 2013, Chomarat admitted that she was spurned to donate proceedings from her work to dogs after witnessing first-hand the conditions of some of the local animal shelters.

“I immediately thought: how can I help with this? And just as quickly I figured out that yes, of course, I can sell my work. It's been something I've been proud to do ever since.”

On the more concrete level, Chomarat turns to the exhibition’s title to describe the driving force behind it. Quite simply, she views it as being a clash between “hazard”, or luck and the more introspective world of the imagination.

“While I continue to find inspiration in the richness of Maltese history, as well as the feeling of strong family links which predominate on the island, I don’t really think of my work in any complicated or philosophical terms. My ambition is simply to help embellish life, and pass on some happiness to the people who look at my paintings.”

Hazard and Imaginary will be on display at St John’s Cavalier, Valletta from December 8. For more information on Zoe Chomorat and her work, log on to: http://zoechomarat.com/home/