The exhibition at the Malta Society of Arts will feature works by eight well-established local artists united by friendship and a common interest in people and the human figure.
Xebgħa Nies 2 – The Human Clay is the second collective exhibition for this group of established artists who share a predisposition to draw, sculpt and paint the human figure. The participating artists are Paul Scerri, Debbie Caruana Dingli, Kenneth Zammit Tabona, Steve Bonello, Francesca Balzan, Saviour Baldacchino, Marisa Attard and Andrew Diacono.
The group is mainly linked by friendship and past collaboration, and remains committed to looking at people as an inspiration for their work. Loosely translated from the Maltese language as ‘plenty of people’, the phrase Xebgħa Nies is both a reference to the collective itself, as well as an endearing way to address the men and women who appear in their works of art.
The first Xebgħa Nies exhibition took place in February 2014 at St. James Cavalier with nine participating artists. Since then the line-up has seen some minor changes, and the group is now made up of eight artists who will be exhibiting works in their respective mediums.
All eight artists paint and sculpt in the figurative idiom and portray people in response to their individual observations. Apart from an obvious focus on the human figure, the participants share a keen desire to comment on human behaviour in a humourous, sometimes quirky and occasionally satirical way. They 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.
Caroline Miggiani took on the role of curator for this exhibition in 2018. She 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 unmissable exhibition 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 4 December 2019 at the Art Galleries of the Malta Society of Arts’ Palazzo de La Salle, Valletta, and remains open until 19 December 2019. Entrance is free. For opening hours visit www.artsmalta.org.