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The Big Show: Allura Art’s first major collective exhibition

The Big Show: Allura Art’s first major collective exhibition

Mark Schembri

Allura Art – The Big Opening will take place on Friday November 19 from 7.30pm-10.30pm
at the historic Wignacourt Museum in Rabat

Allura invites art-lovers to The Big Show, Allura Art’s first major collective exhibition.

Almost a year has passed since the Allura Art collection launched in December 2020. Given the COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time, a physical launch event could not be held. Now, eleven months on, and with an ever-growing cohort of local artists on board, Allura is pleased to announce its first major collective exhibition. With the easing of restrictions, this group event will be the first opportunity for visitors to enjoy pieces from all twelve artists in the Allura Art Collection together in one place. 

COVID-19 has in no way slowed the pace of contemporary fine art in Malta. If anything, local artists have been more prolific than ever, doubling-down on their creative output and using the time as an opportunity to develop their craft and take it to the next level.

Allura Art – The Big Show presents a selection of original paintings by some of Malta and Gozo’s best-loved artists, created, for the most part, during the pandemic. The exhibition features both figurative and abstract pieces, including previously unseen or unexhibited work. While much of the artwork falls into the landscape genre and depicts Malta itself, some is more conceptual. Each artist has become known for his or her own distinctive imagery and pieces have been selected which typify their most recent work. The Big Show is diverse in its subject-matter, which includes the natural and built environment, patriotism, the cosmos, spirituality and the human condition. 

Dagmara Zaczeniuk

Andrew Borg pictured with his newest painting Ahrax

The Big Show also features new paintings produced especially for Allura’s Artist Secrets video series, in which goes behind the scenes to film artists at work in their studios and on location. The series recently followed artists Christopher Saliba, Mark Schembri and Debbie Bonello. During the exhibition, the episodes of these three artists will be screened alongside the new paintings produced in their episodes, which will be displayed publicly for the first time. Both the show and the series are part of Allura’s wider Open Studio Programme.

The other Malta-based artists featured in The Big Show are Jo Dounis, Andrew Borg, Rosette Bonello and Christine Porter Lofaro, as well as Andrew Smith, originally from the UK, Vania Goshe and Bogdan Dyulgerov, both Bulgarian, Dagmara Zaczeniuk from Poland and the newest addition to the group, Russian painter Natasha Dadush. 

Allura sets out to identify the leading contemporary artists practising in Malta and Gozo, and the Allura Art Collection includes both emerging and established fine artists.

“There is an enormous amount of activity and output when it comes to contemporary art in Malta,” says Laura Swale, curator of The Big Show. “When it comes to original art we all have an innate sense of what we like and what’s good, but for buyers of art especially, sometimes it helps to have someone we trust point us in the right direction. It’s Allura’s job to headhunt talent and spotlight art that’s worth seeing, then art-lovers can choose for themselves.” 

Andrew Smith

“In my opinion these are the collectible artists of the future. It’s been a real pleasure to have such exceptional artwork to choose from for this exhibition. If you visit The Big Show, I hope you’ll love this collection as much as we do.”

Members of the public are invited to join Allura and the artists of the show at The Big Opening on Friday November 19 for an evening of art, culture, drinks, nibbles and live music.

Entry is free of charge but with prior registration. Capacity is limited according to COVID-19 regulations and vaccination certificates will be required. For information and registration details visit http://www.allura-art.com. Allura Art – The Big Show will run until December 9. Wignacourt Museum opens 9.30am-5pm daily.

For more information, visit the website and register here.

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