“Frammenti di Donna”
During the past years, the Malta Institute of Professional Photography (MIPP) has been actively following a policy of networking and cooperation with various Photographic entities around Europe and the Mediterranean. The main aim has been to empower local photographers and enable them to enhance their vision of the work of other countries and photographers in order to further push the boundaries of their photography.
Due to this policy, the MIPP has managed to bring over to Malta a series of interesting photography exhibitions which help to inspire local artists. “Frammenti di Donna,” showing at Palazzo Xara in St Paul’s Street, Rabat, is the latest of these exhibitions. It will be open to the general public from the 1st to the 26th October, 2012.
The work exhibited hails from the Sicilian Fotoclub Le Gru, who have already been cooperating on various visits and projects with the MIPP. In fact, a delegation from the Group will be in Malta for an exchange visit and for the actual inauguration of the exhibition.
As the name implies, the exhibition concerns the female sex. Women have always been an attractive and inspiring subject for all artists, and photographers are no exception. The debate on the exploitation of women in art, advertising and commercials will surely rage on interminably and revolves and fluctuates according to the different perceptions, customs and religion of various nations, but one sure thing is that artists will never cease to be intrigued by the mystery as well as the controversy and attraction that surrounds the female gender.
This exhibition attempts to capture instants in which a glimpse of this mystery and attraction is evidenced. Most of the images in this exhibition try to show us curious moments and insights of women’s presence in the world around us. Although the sexuality, eroticism and beauty of the female body are not neglected, other less obvious, perhaps less evident, facets of everyday life are also explored. This gives this collection an interesting and curious cross section of the theme and encourages discussion and debate.
The image by Silvano Bicocchi, subtly shows the hands of a hard working woman. Hands which carry a message of toil and sacrifice that a woman sometimes goes through in her married life. A picture by Rosario di Maria contrasts sharply with this. Di Maria captures the sexual beauty of a young woman in an artistic, romantic manner – introducing slight movement in order to breathe more life into the image. Two different sides of the same coin.
Again a very different angle is depicted by Donna Manta. Her image of an adolescent coloured girl, peacefully at rest in what seems to be a hospital bed, conjures the plight of women risking their lives to try and escape the harshness and perils of countries were women are treated as little more than slaves. The restful and, seemingly, exhausted but peaceful deep sleep of the girl hopefully augurs a brighter future in a new, better beginning.
Gabriele Rigon’s nude combines the sensuality of the human figure with the everyday habitual motions of smoking – perhaps after a night of passionate love? The shallow depth of field enhances well the softness and curves of the model.
Paola Garofalo’s image of a girl at her toilette plays on the effect of multiplicity and reflection – rather reminiscent of the work of Chiara Fersini, recently shown in Malta again during another MIPP international exhibition. Available light and colour is put to good use here.
Santo Mongioi’s cubism inspired photograph gives a different, yet somewhat semi abstract view of the theme. It is quite arty in its rendition and I believe that work such as this should be commended and more exploited and explored by photographers.
Daniela Sidari’s images hint on the female form through the clever use of shop manikins as her chosen subject matter. Using positive and negative versions of her images and combining them in a diptych, she has managed to create an aura of clinical, inquisitive coldness, again encouraging the viewer to examine form and light on the contours of the “female’s” body.
These are just a few of the images I have singled out that have particularly intrigued and fascinated me. I am sure that visitors will have their own favourites and areas of debate, opinion and discussion.
I urge photographers and artists alike, as well as the general public, to view the interesting works of the Le Gru members at Palazzo Xara and try to delve deeper into the fascinating world of women.
Viewing Times (free entry) are:
Mon – Sun from 09:00 – 24:00
1st October to 26th October, 2012