Xebgħa Nies, Xebgħa Coolness

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Blow, by Marisa Attard

Coolness, yeah it’s not even a word real people use, I know.

So, one of the benefits of working in Valletta is that during my lunch hour I get to do fun things. Such as visiting exhibitions, which is a great thing as I always manage to miss the openings. The one that has been on my to-do list for a couple of weeks is Xebgħa Nies, at St James Cavalier, curated by Fabrizio Mifsud Soler. But work deadlines and horrible weather were keeping me inside. Until today, a meeting at St James Cavalier finally made it happen.

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Downtown, by Moira Zahra

If you haven’t been yet, make it a point to drop in before it closes on March 30 . The collective exhibition can be described as a set of portraits. Portraiture is my least favourite area of the visual arts, unless it’s done very very differently. And this one certainly does. The artists present a wonderfully colourful, eclectic, naughty and even twisted take on people. It’s life Jim, but not as we usually choose to know it.

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A Taxidermist’s Dream by Paul Scerri

My personal  highlights – although all artists captivated me –  include the by-now infamous Tewmin tal-Mużew by Mark Scicluna, A Taxidermist’s Dream by Paul Scerri, Blow by Marisa Attard and Downtown by Moira Zahra. The latter is my absolute favourite. It’s striking in its quirkiness, and effective in its bold execution. But do make sure you check out Steve Bonello, Kenneth Zammit Tabona, Debbie Caruana Dingli (her witches are beguiling), Andrew Diacono and Saviour Baldacchino, because the whole ensemble is very strong.

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It-Tewmin tal-Mużew, by Mark Scicluna

While there, you could do worse than take the stairs to the Upper Galleries for a look at Eccentricks by Emanuel Bonnici. The twisted telephone box that greets you at the entrance will make you wonder whether you’re on something and unaware. And there’s also the infamous ‘luzzu’ toilet.

For a more detailed interview on The Sunday Times Culture section click here. A technical review by Sunday Times art critic Charlene Vella will be running on the Culture section soon.