Liliya Pangelova (first year MTL student) begins at the origins of things: matter, stone, light and dark. Her initial exploration of Sisyphus’ myth seems to imply that our relationship with nature will never be an easy one. This led her to study stone and its cultural and other implications. Inside I is made of clay, dust, soil and plaster, while Inside II explores an interplay of light and dark. Liliya quotes Carl Sagan: “Every aspect of Nature reveals a deep mystery and touches our sense of wonder and awe... those with the courage to explore the weave and structure of the Cosmos, even where it differs profoundly from their wishes and prejudices, will penetrate its deepest mysteries”.
From the realm of basic matter, we move to the early stages of human life: childhood. Maria Chiara Monterosso (first year MTL student) is inspired by play and creative lessons she has developed with primary school children. She borrows children’s spontaneous imagery and describes this process as the “driving force” behind her work, integrating children’s drawings into her own images.
From this yearning for childhood, John Paul Muscat (first year MA Social Practice Arts and Critical Education student) transports us to animal life, represented by a few sketches of a family pet, Roy. John Paul describes Roy as “fearless, energetic, and an alert companion dog that enjoys wandering and exploring the outside”.
A semi-abstract representation of nature is portrayed in Charles Zammit’s (second year MTL student) painting of Field Crops but his digital image Nature Rug enters a more ambiguous zone. On one hand, nature turns into a precious object of beauty, a digitally composed, gold rug inspired by the work of Hassan Hajjaj. On the other hand, nature is framed within a human-made border which contains it, its fate defined by human hands.
No borders encompass the mixed media images of Edera Bellizzi (second year MTL student); instead, she liberates natural forms like butterflies, dragonflies and webs on a surface with no beginning and no end, refusing to control nature’s organic growth.
Anthea Camenzuli (second year MTL student) discovers an approach to boundlessness in a dreamy, mythical world in which human beings and other creatures have merged into one being. About Boundless, she writes that one can escape confined spaces by “daydreaming of becoming a siren in a bathtub”. In her photograph Shrouded in Darkness II, a creature that is half-human, half-fish emerges from a mysterious black sea that envelops it.
Finally, Martina Camilleri (first year MA Social Practice Arts and Critical Education student) produced a gigantic image transfer on a 6-metre long piece of linen to portray this boundlessness quite literally. At the same time, she indicates the importance of developing a transformative mentality: “Element 1: change portrays a character evolving from a shy, intimidated creature to one embracing change and growing into it - becoming part of it. As the lower part of the piece shows towering constructs society may place on individuals, these scatter into a portal of enlightenment for those who choose to learn, evolve and triumph.”