Victoria Agius’s first solo exhibition ‘pajsaġġi’ at Wignacourt Museum

Last Friday, November 3, local artist and teacher Victoria Agius opened her first solo exhibition, ‘pajsaġġi’ at the Wignacourt Museum in Rabat.

The paintings of pajsaġġi, which translates to ‘landscapes’, demonstrate how Victoria takes advantage of her oil paint alla prima and boldly applies the oil method to experiment, record, and idealise the scenes. The medium gives her works a sense of surrealism, like a hazy but significant memory, or a dream that plays on loop in one’s mind.

Agius often contrasts the chalky whites of foamy waves, as well as the gentle yellow tones of the Maltese limestone and cliffs, with the intense blue tones of the Mediterranean. The paintings exude a kind of serene solitude, transporting onlookers to moments of total stillness, where nothing moves except maybe the current of the sea. The artist’s skill and personality are reflected in the ethereal pictures of these scenes, which clearly hold special value for her.

She romanticises the splendour of Exiles, the stony shore that never fails to bring back memories of her carefree early years and adolescence, inspired by the glistening sea and the delicate rocks. Victoria presents a fascinating angle of the chevron-patterned Qbajjar Salt Pans in Gozo, a beloved location where she shared countless special moments with her young children Gordon and Theresa. Her depiction of the Dingli Cliffs’ dusk sunset evokes memories of her leisurely walks, when she would capture the picturesque and enchanted moments of an almost dreamlike vista. Thus, the exhibition is like a montage of Victoria’s memories, from her point of view. 

However, beyond the scenic dreamscapes, Victoria is adamant about using her work to teach others. With pajsaġġi, she aims to connect with art enthusiasts, educators, students, activists, conservationists, fellow artists, and the general public. In doing so, she hopes to raise awareness about our responsibility to protect the few unspoiled natural and recreational areas that we have left.

This exhibition is curated by Caroline Tonna and supported by P. Cutajar & Co. Ltd. It’ll remain available for viewing at the Wignacourt Museum in Rabat until November 26. Those interested in visiting can attend at any time between 9.30 am to 4.15 pm on all seven days of the week. 

Entrance is free of charge.