Award-winning artist Maree Azzopardi returns with her latest exhibition, Exquisite Corpse – I loved you more, which opened on Thursday 25 April in Malta, before touring to Sweden and Italy.
Azzopardi’s work continues her journey of autobiographical self-expression. It is a journey from dark to light, through a process of healing as she overcomes the trauma of death and love lost. Her previous show, INVICTUS presented a journey filled with cleansing waters and mountainous obstacles to overcome. Hilltop crucifixes reminiscent of Calvary featured throughout. In Exquisite Corpse – I loved you more Azzopardi continues to engage with religious symbolism. Whereas her previous exhibition featured oils and ink-based works, Azzopardi has chosen to return to the photographic medium for her latest show.
“I have always dealt with death through the lens,” Azzopardi says.
The resulting images have been printed onto linen, harnessing its symbolic power in Catholic ritual and iconography, especially altar cloths and the practice of shrouding the dead.
“INVICTUS dealt with the trauma associated with death, break-ups and grief. Now I’ve come full circle to the death of my father and I’m finally able to exhibit the memento mori images, which I took of him in his casket before he was buried,” says Azzopardi.
Azzopardi adds embellishments of gold thread, representing the connection we maintain beyond the grave. Azzopardi says, “I find it comforting to play into the belief that all souls connect with us, including those of animals, hence my use of the gold thread in my work.”
These printed photographs-cum-tapestries meditate on the rituals we go through when something or someone dies. As Azzopardi puts it, “It gets wrapped. Then it’s buried, or washed out to sea, or left to the environment to break down into the earth.”
Camera in hand, Azzopardi will often walk along her local beach, looking for signs of death and the remains of animals washed up on shore. The resulting works are on show here too. “I can’t help but see something beautiful in decomposition,” she says.
Exquisite Corpse – I loved you more is presented under the generous patronage of Aniek Baten and sponsored by The Australia High Commission in Malta. It will be exhibited in Venue B, Spazju Kreattiv, Castille Place, Valletta until Sunday, June 2. For further information call +356 2122 3200 or visit