Upon entering the Church of St Paul’s Shipwreck in lower St Lucy Street Valletta, one finds a large glass encased statue of St Margaret Mary Alacoque of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This statue, apart from being a remarkable sculptural example of the era in which it was made, is bedecked with multiple votive offerings left behind by numerous (and probably female) faithful whose prayers were directed at this saint. A great number of offerings come in the form of a wide range of antique jewels, gold, and silver, filigree, pearls and precious stones. Special stands were erected to flank the statue inside the glass case, purposely to display all the diverse jewels which were ‘donated’ to this saint. This is not a unique thing in Malta, where female religious statues are often bedecked with votive offerings of precious jewellery.
At the opposite end of St Lucy Street, for just one week, one can view a pop-up exhibition of other ‘Offerings’. ‘Desko’ @ Studio 104 Fine Art Space, is hosting a modest and short exhibition of a miscellany of fashion earrings created by master filigree maker Kevin Attard.
Gallery owner Nicole Parnis says, “I reopened this gallery last September, following in the footsteps of my mother who originally opened Studio 104 in 2015. so that now, Desko @ Studio 104 is fast becoming a social hub for creative ideas, which is what I always wanted it to be. So far, the space has hosted a series of small exhibitions here – ‘Vessels’ by Hannah Galea and Matthew Micallef; ‘Jana Who?’ Pop Art by Jana Frost; and more recently ‘Nud’, a collective exhibition of nudes. This time, this pop-up entitled ‘Offerings’, will be showcasing a series of crafted earrings made entirely with the age-old tradition of Maltese filigree in silver and gold. Earrings are all stringently handmade by Kevin. And yes, indeed, the title is inspired by the votive offerings of jewels such as those at St Paul’s Shipwreck, most of which are antique earrings. Chandelier earrings are so much in fashion once again, and jewels on St Lucy Street here in Valletta, are always a good idea.”
Kevin Attard is a Maltese professional filigree maker who has been designing and producing traditional and innovative Maltese filigree jewellery and accessories for many years. His work has featured in several key exhibitions including many pop-up shows. One of the first exhibitions in which his work was highlighted was ‘Filigree on Show’ held way back in 2009. This exhibition saw his work and that of another professional filigree maker showcased at Palazzo Castellania in Valletta, so that the dynamic adaptability of filigree making as an art form was placed under scrutiny.
In ‘Offerings’, Kevin Attard has worked to create a small but significant collection of design fashion earrings that successfully showcase the art of filigree, the exceptional skill it requires and the finesse of the jewels it can produce. The full collection will be on show on the opening night.
‘Offerings’ – filigree design jewellery exhibition by Kevin Attard is showing at Desko @ Studio 104 – Fine Art Space, 104 St Lucy Street, Valletta between 27th November – 4th December 2019.
Opening night :27th November – 19:00 – 22:00 hrs.
Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – 11:00-14:00 hrs & 16:00-19:00 hrs; Saturday – 11:00-15:00 hrs; Sunday & Monday closed.
For enquiries call 77902705.