Pandemic: survival, art and new action at Malta Enterprise

Exhibition marking and paying tribute to pandemic times whilst creating a possible vision for the future open from 1st to 17th December

Curator Pamela Baldacchino
Curator Pamela Baldacchino

The central foyer at Malta Enterprise (ME) is dominated by a vast expanse of travertine blocks, stacked to create a wall that breathes through gaps revealed in between the regularly spaced limestone.

A quasi-living wall that is flooded with light from the high windows that look down on the human activity happening all around. People walk with purpose, entering and leaving the meeting rooms where they analyse, question, discuss and strategize on the country’s economic development and related investments and policies.

This dynamic, growth-oriented space that is Malta Enterprise provides the right environment for the collective exhibition, Pandemic: Survival, Art and New Action.

The model that sustains ME focuses on finding solutions and adapting to changing circumstances, making them the ideal hosts. They are also highly committed to their CSR strategy, actively seeking ways in which they can reach out to the local community and contribute their  efforts and resources to promoting the Arts and Cultural scene in Malta.

CEO Kurt Farrugia explains that “as the economic development agency, Malta Enterprise takes great pride in Corporate Social Responsibility. We are highly committed to creating events that can truly give back to our community. Through CSR initiatives, we believe that we can contribute actively to drive further the development and wellbeing of our society at large”. With the pandemic, we too, individually and as little bubbles of humanity, had to find new ways of living, where we could achieve some degree of wellbeing, given the fear of contagion and enforced isolation we experienced.

In times like these, artists come up with aesthetic ways of engagement that tap into these experiences and present them to the public as works of art. This representation of common and personal processes during the pandemic is the conceptual basis of the exhibition. These singular stories form a visual narrative that will allow us to understand and give value to our collective experience.

A way of marking and paying a tribute to these times whilst contemporarily creating a new possible vision for the future. A public call was issued by Malta Enterprise which led to over 60 applications being sent from well-established and young emerging artists. A panel of judges selected the artworks based on conceptual relevance and artistic ability. The artists selected include visual artists, painters, digital artists, photographers, sculptors and a bronze smith. The exhibition will be open for viewing from the 1st and 17th December, 2021. After this period, the works will be accessible for viewing on a CSR digital platform which will be designed to complement such initiatives.

Together with the initiator Josephine Vassallo Parnis, Head of EU Affairs at Malta Enterprise, who also forms part of the CSR team at ME and whose passion for the arts matches her vibrant, professional nature, we have liaised with the artists involved so as to also offer them the possibility to exhibit their art.

A percentage from the sales will go to a research project on sustainable environment through the Research Trust Fund (RIDT) of the University of Malta. This exhibition, having such a range of artists with different perspectives and backgrounds, becomes in a way representative of society itself.

Harmonising all the work within a relatively contained space becomes a challenge. During this process, a dialogue creeps in and a synergy is created. The artworks relate one to the other and a feeling or mood is established. The feeling is a sensation that draws one into the space, one that is centred around our recent experiences of lockdown. Together the works will contain the viewers and allow them to temporarily transcend the pandemic experience we are living, even if for a short while.