Xebgħa Nies 2 exhibition explores the human figure

The exhibition at the Malta Society of Arts will feature works by eight well-established local artists united by friendship and past collaboration.

Xebgħa Nies 2 – The Human Clay is the second collective exhibition for a group of established artists who share a predisposition to draw, sculpt and paint the human figure.

A selection of approximately 35 paintings, as well as 15 individual and group sculptures will be exhibited for a two-week duration at the Malta Society of Arts, Palazzo de la Salle in Valletta.

The artists in this year’s collective differ slightly from those who had originally participated in Xebgħa Nies 1 held at St. James Cavalier in Valletta in 2014. They include Paul Scerri, Debbie Caruana Dingli, Kenneth Zammit Tabona, Steve Bonello, Francesca Balzan, Saviour Baldacchino, Marisa Attard and Andrew Diacono. All the artists are committed to looking at people as an inspiration for their work.

Loosely translated from the Maltese as ‘plenty of people’, the phrase Xebgħa Nies is both a personal reference as well as to the men and women who appear in their works of art. All the participating artists work in the figurative idiom and create their own narratives by observing idiosyncrasies in the people that surround them.

Humour exists in many forms and all the participating artists in Xebgħa Nies 2 remind the viewers that it is also present in everyday life. In this exhibition, the human body is not only seen as a site of desire and agitation, fragility and compromise but also capable of transmitting an entertaining critique of modern life. The artists believe that humour, like a good work of art, should make the viewer pause, think and look again. A number of works that will be exhibited have been created in response to some of society’s urgent concerns and these include the issue of overpopulation and that of a diminishing natural environment.

The artworks also reveal that the collaboration between painting and sculpture can be a rewarding and creative one. A couple of the artworks have been purposely created to explore how painting and sculpture can interact between themselves and with the exhibition space they occupy.  

The exhibition is being curated by Caroline Miggiani with the support of APS Bank plc. Miggiani commented that she: “was naturally delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with so many talented artists and felt that she could immediately identify with the ethos of the group.”

This event will be a unique opportunity to see a number of high-calibre works under one roof in what promises to be a thought-provoking and interesting exhibition.

The exhibition ‘Xebgħa Nies 2- The Human Clay’ opens on Wednesday 4th December 2019 at the Art Galleries of the Malta Society of Arts’ Palazzo de La Salle, Valletta, and remains open until the 19th December 2019. Entrance is free. For opening hours visit the artsmalta website.