Malta Inside Out


Newly-Minted Photos: a cafe exhibition

Say cheese!  Goats waiting for milking at Mgarr gbejniet cheese factory.

Say cheese! Goats waiting for milking at Mgarr gbejniet (cheese) dairy.

Malta’s aspiring artists and photographers are getting good at sniffing out new venues in which to exhibit their work. There aren’t that many galleries around hosting contemporary artists (St James Cavalier, the Museum of Fine Arts, and No. 68 do a lot to help, and there are few other private ones around…). Many up and coming artists are turning to the more pioneering of Malta’s cafes to seek exhibition venues. Cafes in return use their walls to support the arts, give themselves a more art-house feel and make their environments all the more welcoming for their patrons.

Exhibition Venue
A new cafe on the block – New Zealand-style cafe ‘Mint’, in Sliema – is aligning itself quickly with deserving creatives. This weekend sees its walls hosting a small, but eclectic collection of photography by Anne Muscat-Scerri and Amanda Holmes.

About the Exhibition
Anne and Amanda usually concentrate on family and child photography, so this display marks a departure for them – in fact there’s not a person in sight. “The last time we put our photos on show, we were newcomers to the scene. So it made sense for us to exhibit pictures of children – the subject matter we feel most comfortable with,” says Amanda. Both women are mothers to families of three young girls and mostly find themselves pointing the lens at their offspring. “This time though we realised it would be a good challenge to display completely different subjects that enable us to explore different styles from the whimsical to semi-abstract.

“Photography is a great medium for capturing the beauty and capriciousness of everyday life. For this collection, our aim was to reflect our immediate surroundings in a surprising way, questioning our view of the supposedly mundane. All the pictures have been taken in Malta, some of very typical subjects, yet the photos are anything but typically Maltese,” explains Amanda.

So at Mint you’ll find for example a boat picture, that’s not the typical image of a brightly-painted luzzu, but that captures a detail of a hull with muted colours and many repairs, testifying to the harsh conditions boats and their crews encounter. The two photographers wanted to show pictures of objects and scenes that people would chance upon in their daily life, but they’ve taken the shots in a way that could surprise and perhaps make us re-evaluate our environment.

Cafe opening times
Exhibition runs from 5 Dec – early February 2010.
Mint: 30/39 Luzio Junction/Stella Maris Street. Open Tues-Sat 09.30-19.00; Sun 10.30-19.00.
For more info, contact: Amanda or Anne and see also:

Photo: Anne Muscat Scerri.

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