BEYOND BORDERS – Perspectives on migration

BEYOND BORDERS – Perspectives on migration

A project by Kevin Casha

In Malta, it is increasingly difficult to move away from the discourse on migration and integration. The island’s location, as one British writer once put it “the navel of the Mediterranean.” No one can deny that this “navel” is in the centre of a controversial maelstrom which, unfortunately, has become an endless issue with hot debate between various camps and factions.
It is a fact that Europe has an aging population and that a crisis scenario looms whereas not enough workers will be employed in European countries to sustain the straining financial requirements of pensions. However, most Europeans look at migrants only as a burden and most politicians, caught between their vote catching priorities, seem to be unable to legislate solidly and efficiently on this massive movement and displacement of humanity.

The Questionnaire

The Questionnaire

Who can blame a person for choosing to better one’s life? Are we not all born with at least the right of improving the life of ourselves and our loved ones? Who can stay in a country where the only choice is enslavement, disease, misery and, many times, death? All these thoughts and others kept churning around my brain and led me to try and explore the situation through a practical and hopefully unbiased manner that everyone can understand.

Setting up at MCVS. The exhibition will be touring various venues.

Setting up at MCVS. The exhibition will be touring various venues.

Setting Up at MCVS

Setting Up at MCVS

Beyond Borders is an attempt to look into the positive aspects of migration and avoid the dark, pessimistic narratives that the media very often dishes out. Naturally, my medium is photography so I wanted to use a genre of art that I am comfortable with. I also wanted to investigate the inner thoughts of the migrants’ stay on our island; how they arrived here; how they have been received; how they have made ends meet and how many of them have actually managed to become part of Maltese society. Moreover, I wanted to record their progress on the island as most of them are already doing their part in the local economy and towards society. In a world which is increasingly becoming globalised and multi-cultural, the sooner that societies manage to integrate migrants is vital for the benefit of all current and future generations. For sure, every race, nation and religion has its fanatics and these will never unfortunately disappear however, let us not forget the many examples were integration of migrants has been successful…. What about the Indian community in Britain; what about the Turks in Germany; what about America – a country whose strength is through its diversity?

Beyond Borders

Beyond Borders

Tackling this project has also made me realise my own weaknesses, perhaps my prejudice, and my failure to see the “other side of the coin.” I feel that he journey has made me a better man, has shown me that it is only through sincere communication and dialogue that bridges are built. Integration is definitely not a one-way issue but an issue in which all sides need to do their part. Building bridges that aid integration will safeguard host countries from forcing migrants into isolation or “ghettoes” which can only eventually flare up.

Some of the participants in Beyond Borders

Some of the participants in Beyond Borders

It is also the responsible, yet understandably difficult job of those who are in power to identify and implement legislation which addresses these huge problems – without being influenced by commercial gain, greed and inhumanity.

logos jpg

Note:
I would like to thank two persons who have made this project possible, namely Alec Douglas and Daniel Vassallo, both from Cross Culture International. Without their ongoing help, this project would have never materialised. Naturally, I must thank all the contributing sponsors and, most of all, the persons who accepted to be interviewed and be part of “Beyond Borders.”
Their importance necessitates that I mention each and everyone by their name:

ENDELEY KONBOYE
JOSEPH JNR. ONONUJU
LAURA COPPINI
DANIELLE VAN ROOYEN
DOUNIA BORG
KATINA MLADENOVA
KODES SBOUI
SABRINA WERNER
ADAM GISMALLA
GISELLA ORSINI
MARYGRACE CANNAO
MATIFADZA NYAMUKAPA
NATHAN BVUMBURAH
SAMPSON YEBOAH
STEPHEN EGBO
UMAYMA ELAMIN
VANJA VAJAGIC
AWELAGA ASEBA (ZSIXTEEN AWLAGA)

Beyond Borders

To view the interviews and the Questionnaire linked to this project see:

BEYOND BORDERS – The storytelling…

The Fine Art photography of Nadette Clare-Talbot Bettridge

I recently had the opportunity to meet talented South African photographer Nadette Clare-Talbot Bettridge at Le Meridien Hotel in St. Julian’s, where she is holding her photographic exhibition. “Lacey & Lace” is a collection of works, exquisitely printed and framed in large format having a subject that revolves around the delicate structure and texture of lace and feminine beauty. In this exhibition, Nadette has actually tackled two separate genres of photography and managed to cleverly link and combine them together. Nadette is essentially a highly skilled fashion photographer with an impressive portfolio of works behind her. The work in Lacey & Lace is paired in ‘sets’ of two: a beauty female very fashionable portrait and a studied still life that complements the same portrait. Nadette’s photography background is in conventional film and the discipline that years of film photography has instilled in her is evident; her work is planned, studied and skilfully executed clearly demonstrating her schooling and wide experience in the photography medium.

© Nadette Clare-Talbot Bettridge

© Nadette Clare-Talbot Bettridge

© Nadette Clare-Talbot Bettridge

© Nadette Clare-Talbot Bettridge

Following is Nadette’s concept:

Lacey & Lace the idea behind it
The concept for this exhibition was born from my love of lace and my passion for beauty and stills photography. I wanted to do something that merged the two and so the idea came about to work on 18 pieces accentuating lace as the common theme throughout the images, incorporating a DPS (double-page spread) approach. From my years of shooting for magazines, I found that I instinctively visualized my imagery in a double page layout – so I wanted to echo that idea in my exhibition by creating images in a 2-part story.
I photographed 9 beauty portraits each exploring a different theme and flavour, and then expanded the concepts further by shooting a complementary still for each model. The images will be viewed in pairs, but can still exist as pieces in their own right.
From the onset, my aim was to create images that were extremely textured and layered. As lace is the common thread, I explored the concept by integrating lace in the styling aspects of the subject matter, and then layering the images digitally afterwards by incorporating scanned-in pieces of lace. It is my hope that the photographed lace and scanned lace are not obviously differentiated from one other, but viewed blended to create the layered effect.
The final pieces are printed on canvas at 80 x 120cm each, to fully appreciate the layered textures.
Each beauty portrait is titled by incorporating the girls name Lacey, and each complementary still using the word Lace.

Nadette Clare-Talbot Bettridge Email: nadettephoto@melita.com Mobile: 9935 6592

© blog – KEVIN CASHA

© Nadette Clare-Talbot Bettridge

© Nadette Clare-Talbot Bettridge

© Nadette Clare-Talbot Bettridge

© Nadette Clare-Talbot Bettridge

Update – Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue International Photography Competition & Exhibition

During the recent CHOGM events, the OUT OF THE BLUE PHOTOGRAPHY exhibition was inaugurated at the MarItime Museum in Vittoriosa by HRH Prince Charles. The opening brought to fruition the work of many months which included the preparation of rules, launching and promotion, the judging, preparation of exhibition boards and the collating of a publication. All this was a great opportunity to showcase the value and importance of our blue planet and raise awareness around all Commonwealth countries on the value of our seas. A vast area of our global ocean lies within the jurisdiction of Commonwealth countries. More than half of Commonwealth countries are islands, to whom ocean matters are of vital importance.

 HRH Prince Charles delivering his opening speech

HRH Prince Charles delivering his opening speech

Through the work of Kevin Casha, MIPP President, Malta had a substantial entry and local photographers left an excellent impression with the international judges. Two MIPP members had their works amongst the finalists: Joe P. Smith and Nick D’Ancona’s images are also exhibited in the Maritime exhibition. Furthermore, other work, mainly coming from the photographic section of Atlam Subacqua Club, in Malta, was close to making it to the final selection. The competition’s overall winner was Ms Ashley Wee, from Canada with a photograph of a sea turtle taken in the Bahamas. Ms Wee attended the exhibition’s inauguration.

MIPP President Kevin Casha together with the overall winner, Ms Ashley Wee

MIPP President Kevin Casha together with the overall winner, Ms Ashley Wee

The Out of the Blue competition, exhibition and book were made possible by the partnering organisations which were The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit, The Royal Commonwealth Society, National Geographic Pristine Seas, the CHOGM Taskforce and the Malta Institute of Professional Photography. Kevin Casha himself was instrumental for the success of this event as he was not only one of the Judges but also Picture Editor and Exhibition Coordinator. The exhibition is open to the general public from the 28th November to the 11th of December 2015.

Protecting our seas …

Protecting our seas…

Recently, I was honoured by being invited to be part of the selection panel for the OUT OF THE BLUE Prince of Wales’ Commonwealth Environmental Photography Awards. The competition, held under the auspices of HRH the Prince of Wales, aimed at encouraging Commonwealth Citizens to showcase the beauty and bounty of oceans and marine environments.

The judges’ task was to select the winners of each competition category as well as the images which have been eventually exhibited in Malta during the November Commonwealth CHOGM event. The judging panel consisted of a further three judges coming mainly from environmental backgrounds. All the judges’ CV’s are highly impressive and, apart from their vast experience, are all photographers in their own right. Besides myself, the group consisted of Terence Dormer, a diver and founder of the British Sub Aqua club; Hanli Prinsloo – multiple South African free diving record holder and founder of the I AM WATER Ocean Conservation project; and Daniel Beltra – a Spanish born photographer working from Seattle who specialises in aerial environmental photography.

The publication which accompanies the exhibition in Malta.

The publication which accompanies the exhibition in Malta.

The judging, held at the prestigious St James Palace in London, was not an easy task, with nearly 900 entries coming from all ends of the Commonwealth. The works were under different themes and categories with one category for under 18 participants as well as a Mobile Phone category. This was also another opportunity for me to learn more about selection processes and the organization of judging panels. Naturally the work, coming from so many different areas of the commonwealth as well as the cultural diversity of the participants, made for different levels and standards of entries – there were the obviously top notch images coming from professional photographers and then entries from hobbyists and youths. It made for a very intriguing mix of images. I could not help notice that some of the work was of the documentary side – just recording a scene or a holiday snapshot – yet other images had an important message as well as an obvious thematic involvement by the photographer. It was also curious that the weakest section was the mobile category. With the use and proliferation of mobile phones, I would have expected much stronger images in this section.

From a personal point, it was also a pleasure that recent efforts of myself and the MIPP to work with Atlam sub aqua club photographers are paying off. I successfully encouraged them to put in their impressive work for this competition. In fact, the Malta entry was noticeable and a good number of works left a good impression on the experienced judging panel.

© Kevin Casha

KITTY CHOU – The Purist photographer

Kitty Chou was born and raised in Hong Kong in 1961. She is the fifth of six sisters.

Although outwardly shy and reserved, when talking about photography, Kitty immediately lights up. The passion shines through her eyes and a transformation comes over her when she meets people who are seriously interested in discussing her photography. Like most persons taking up photography, Kitty initially tried her hand at a number of diverse photographic genres, but she has always been fascinated and drawn to people and society. Like most photojournalists, Kitty has a natural knack of communicating and she loves engaging with people. Despite the human element features in a lot of her everyday photographs, there is, ironically, a conspicuous absence of persons in most of her Fine Art exhibition work. Her work is imbued with classicism although most of her fine art imagery borders on abstract and semi abstract subjects.

© Kitty Chou

Portrait without a Face no.2

Through her own admission, Kitty is an extremely curious person and one realizes that this characteristic filters through her work. Most of her Fine Art work invites the viewer to first of all, engage aesthetically, then to delve deeper into what the images can evoke. Kitty’s work is at times mysterious and leaves a substantial part to the interpretation of each viewer: she is not one who spoon feeds the viewer.
After attending primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong, she went to the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, United States, graduating in Business Administration in 1982. Kitty was always keen to take what would be termed snaps or documentary images. She was interested in preserving the memory of a fast disappearing lifestyle with the development of the society, especially the one in Hong Kong. She was further inspired when she saw an exhibition of Henri Cartier Bresson at MOMA in New York while she was in university. Bresson’s work not only impressed her but set her reflecting on photography.

© Kitty Chou

An interesting view of a mundane subject

Her first camera was a Minolta analog model. Like a lot of photography enthusiasts, she also developed her own films. After University, she seemingly drifted away from photography only to take it up in earnest again in 2002, buying a compact, point and shoot, two megapixel Casio digital camera. Kitty is mainly self taught and does not put much store in what cameras and equipment she employs – for her, the camera is just a means to an end and the importance of her photography is encompassed through perception, subject framing and aesthetic composition. She recalls her early days when many people she encountered would be asking her what type of camera she uses – as if the camera makes you a better or worse photographer! Many tended to be biased and look down at her photography due to her not sporting the latest “professional” camera model! This reminds me of a dear departed friend and great photographer, David Facey who, when once asked as to what type of camera he uses, he replied: “One of those little black ones!”

© Kitty Chou

The exhibition venue – the Natural History Museum, Mdina, Malta

Kitty’s first exhibition, in 2011, at the New York School of Interior Design, was urged by her professor, who seeing her work, encouraged her to exhibit at the school gallery. She entitled her exhibition “The Accidental Photographer: Line, Colour and Perspective.” The response to her work was so positive and encouraging that Kitty felt that exhibiting and showing her work was the way to go. This is one of the factors which continue to encourage her to exhibit as she particularly enjoys the feedback of her audience.

 

A year later, Kitty conducted a talk with slide show, as well actual prints at the Asia Society in Hong Kong. Ben Brown, a gallery owner, was invited to attend the talk by the forum moderator. The gallerist was intrigued by Kitty’s work and expressed interests in working together. Less than six months after that initial contact, Kitty had a solo show in their Hong Kong gallery.

She followed this exhibition by taking part in a Hong Kong collective exhibition during 2013. This was held at Duddell’s , a very up market restaurant and gallery in Hong Kong. This exhibition merits particular mention due to the fact that iconic Chinese artist, Ai Wei Wei, who was under house arrest then, was the curator. In 2014, another milestone followed for Kitty when car manufacturers Rolls Royce, converting their showroom into a pop-up art gallery, hosted Kitty’s work as their first Art Series in Asia.

© Kitty Chou

Kitty’s keen sense of light and texture

Ironically, there was a time when Kitty refused to go and see other photographic exhibitions as she felt that her work would be influenced and lose its distinct, personal character. Yet, today she has reversed that, mainly because she is confident enough about her work. These last years, she feels unshackled and free to do her ‘own thing’ and not be unduly influenced by what people say.
Kitty does not use any supplementary lighting in her images, preferring to keep her work as simple and true as possible. Her main ally is natural light. In fact, her style and work resemble more the photojournalistic or ‘street’ photographer. She does not manipulate, arrange or set up her images – her process is one of keen seeing and intelligent selection, cropping only in the camera and not in post process,maintaining that, if this is done, her images would lose or stray away from their initial purpose and concept. For this same purpose, even her digital editing is kept to a minimum – just some minor colour correction and brightness and contrast levels. Apart from Cartier Bresson, who remains forever one of Kitty’s inspirations, other photographers she admires are Horst P. Horst and Herb Ritts. She is particularly attracted to the more vintage photographers due to their studied composition and intelligent perception. This is actually interesting as in fact, although a large part of her work ends up being abstract and semi abstract, Kitty’s work is always imbued with classical inference.
She has now been working totally with the digital medium, due to its convenience and wide creative possibilities, printing her Fine Art exhibition work on high end special art paper. Kitty is increasingly looking to explore subjects which have a meaning to her and is interested in producing more work that possibly can have a social concept. Kitty is also looking at future challenges, and a project that is slowly taking birth is the production of a book on her photography.
Finally, I asked her how she would describe herself, a fine art photographer, or perhaps a photojournalist. She promptly replied that she really does not feel boxed to any particular type of photography but that photography has gradually just become an integral part of her lifestyle and is one of the main purposes and driving forces of her life.

Kitty today is married and has one son. She commutes regularly between New York, Paris, and her own Hong Kong.

© Kevin Casha, 2015
www.kevincasha.com

Note: Kitty Chou will be exhibiting her latest work in Malta at the Natural History Museum in Mdina between the 20th of May till the 7th of June, 2015. The exhibition is called “Cotidie The Magic of the Everyday.”

http://www.nysid.edu/news-events/events/kitty-chou-exhibition

http://duddells.co/venue/en/

Review of the Likeness Project by Anthony Catania

 

Back to square one, a (re)visitation to vintage portrait photography in Kevin Casha’s The Likeness Project.

In his treatise on photography Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes observes an enigmatic equivalence in a portrait photograph taken in 1865 by Alexander Gardner. The sitter is Lewis Payne, a prisoner about to be hanged for conspiracy in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Barthes says that ‘by giving me the absolute past of the pose… the photograph tells me death in the future’.

Lewis Payne, Alexander Gardner 1865

Lewis Payne, Alexander Gardner 1865

In his recent exhibition The Likeness Project, held at St James Cavalier, Kevin Casha also revisits the early days of photography to search for acumen in portraiture. He approaches this venture by paradoxically working with the latest professional photographic camera equipment and Adobe Photoshop technology.

The first thing we are presented with in The Likeness Project is an artist’s statement showing a photographer struggling with his inner demons. He condemns his past glamorous portraiture career and is now ‘trying to capture people in a truer and more realistic way – attempting as much as possible not to alter reality …’. He further describes how in the beginning of photography the portrait was also known as a likeness, hence the title of this exhibition. The aim of this project, he says, is to invite the audience to search for ‘hidden nuances … that can possibly … give a deeper insight into our character.’

What Casha displays in this exhibition is a series of thirteen equal sized grey-scaled portraits of anonymous sitters juxtaposed by a copy of a dictionary’s definition of the word portraiture. Each perfectly squared panel is a fivefold showing the same person from different angles and in various light exposures. The upper diptych consists of opposing silhouettes, whilst the lower triptych is formed by two classical profiles, the three-quarter-view portrait and the frontal, shown conjointly with its inverted state. This inversion, which harks back to the vintage negative reel, has the ambience of spectrality. Casha very wisely places it in the centre of the lower set, giving prominence to the model’s Orphic gaze.

Casha allows us only a number to identify each sitter. This anonymity further conjures the viewer’s subconscious mind to recollect connections. One could associate friends, family members, acquaintances or perhaps archetypal figures from history or literature.  For instance, the elongated features of the silhouetted images in portrait number ten remind me strongly of the Egyptian eighteenth dynasty pharaoh Akhenaten, father of Tutankhamun. The melanchonic face of portrait number one’s ghostly negative image, stikes me as an Edgar Alan Poe’s Madeline falling into one of her cataleptic, deathlike trances.

There are many questions being asked in this exhibition.

Why are all these sitters presented in the same formulaic manner? Appearances are deceptive and to countenance for it, Casha creates a structured procedure that makes one feel these persons are being equated. Not in the Orwellian sense where people are language controlled but in what the philosopher Jean Paul Sartre says in his existentialist essay Being and Nothingness, ‘All human activities are equivalent … and … all are on principle doomed to failure’.  

Why is Casha showing us the dictionary’s definition of the word ‘portraiture’? Is he implying or connoting Plato’s concept of Forms, showing us that the idea is superior to the material world of constant flux? Reminiscent of Joseph Kosuth, Casha is highlighting the relation between language, image and referent thus inserting this exhibition in the terrain of conceptual art.

Marcel Proust wrote in his most prominent work In Search of Lost Time, ‘Habit is a second nature it keeps us in ignorance of the first, and is free of its cruelties and enchantments.’ Casha is surely not showing what we are habitually used to seeing in Maltese photography.

 

Anthony Catania

The Likeness Project – Outcomes

OUTCOMES OF THE LIKENESS PROJECT EXHIBITION

My photography exhibition, The Likeness Project, has now closed for viewing. Still, I would like the idea’s provocation and the debate to carry on.

general view of the exhibition set up at St James Cavalier, Centre for Creativity

General view of the exhibition set up at St James Cavalier, Centre for Creativity

In fact, from the amount of comments and interest the work has generated, I have decided to soon post all comments on this blog. This will serve to evaluate the outcomes and reflection that came out from this concept.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who visited the exhibition and took time to write down their views. A big thanks also goes to the persons who kindly co-operated and accepted to be photographed for the project.

I have now posted below a few of the exhibits for those who for some reason or other did not manage to view it.

It is also with pleasure that I can announce I will now be exhibiting this project at the London Hilton in January 2013.

The debate goes on….

 

THE LIKENESS PROJECT

THE LIKENESS PROJECT

THE LIKENESS PROJECT

THE LIKENESS PROJECT

THE LIKENESS PROJECT

THE LIKENESS PROJECT

View also Vanadium Avenue blog – http://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/the-likness-project-exhibition-by-kevin-casha/

 

The Likeness Project

Artist’s Statement – The Likeness Project

It is not easy for a person to live and breathe photography and to keep challenging and stimulating himself with his work. It is a hunger which needs to be satiated every day.

It is also a shocking awakening when an artist sometimes gets that sinking feeling that he has done it all wrong and his path has, perhaps, taken him nowhere he would currently like to be.

Making a living from professional photography has never been easy, particularly now, in this extremely competitive and saturated digital world. For me it has always been trying to find a balance between my commercial and my artistic work. My commercial stimulus has always been that paid work would subsidize my personal projects. I have always had to work hard to get results.

Recently I have been asking myself where I want to go from here. A career of over thirty years is not easy to handle and it seems to get harder to map out one’s journey.

Although a general practitioner, I am mostly known for my portrait and fashion photography, which used to rather satisfy and content me. But currently I have been tortured by doubts about this genre of photography. Is it all made up? Is it all fictitious? Have I really been creating images which show character, mood or a message? Searching deep in my soul and my work I can only come up with few images which fit these criteria.

This is where this exhibition, and its name, “The Likeness Project”, come in.

The Likeness Project

The Likeness Project

Why Likeness? In the early days of photography, portraits where actually termed as “Likenesses” and photographers toiled in order that in some way, compete and better the work of painters and their portraits.  A “Likeness” rarely attempted to show anything more than a similarity and a record of the person.

Matters changed drastically as technology progressed and photographers, (as well as their subjects), strayed further and further away from the truth to create idealised or clichéd portraits of their sitters.

The more I think about my past work, the more I am inclined to revert back and return to the basics of photography – of trying to capture people in a truer and more realistic way – attempting as much as possible not to alter reality and just showing and conserving people’s real features, moods and characters.

The work in this collection consists of images which all have the human element as their subject. Images which are basically unaltered and which require and intrigue the viewer to look deeply and in detail at the subtle nuances of a portrait by comparing silhouettes, facial negatives and portraits simply shot with natural north light coming from a window – just as vintage studio portraiture was originally conducted in the early days of the medium.

My subjects were instructed not to apply any make up or physical enhancements, not to wear any jewellery or ornaments and where only given a plain black top to wear.

In this exhibition, the idea is to invite and encourage those viewers, who must not know the actual subjects, to write down their thoughts on such matters as what they consider the subject’s characteristics, mannerisms etc. to be. That way a debate can hopefully be entered into as to whether the portrait as we know it has been giving us the wrong impression of a person’s countenance and character.  Perhaps hidden nuances about the subjects can be possibly borne out and give a deeper insight into our character than fictitious, unnatural, posed portraits.

The main manipulation I have done to the images is by turning them into monochrome to remove the distraction of colour and to also give them a timeless, retro feel.

 

Kevin Casha – The Likeness Project

St James Cavalier for Creativity, Valletta, Malta 2012

Frammenti di Donna – a photographic exhibition

“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.

© Rosario di Maria

© Rosario di Maria, Frammenti Di Donna Exhibition

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.

© Silvano Bicocchi

© Silvano Bicocchi, Frammenti Di Donna Exhibition

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.

© Donna Manta

© Donna Manta, Frammenti di Donna Exhibition

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

© Gabriele Rigon, Frammenti di Donna Exhibition

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.

© Paola Garofalo

© Paola Garofalo, Frammenti Di Donna Exhibition

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.

© Danela Sidari

© Danela Sidari – Frammenti Di Donna Exhibition

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

 

Kevin Casha

© 2012

 

Steve McCurry’s Exhibition in Malta – An event not to be forgotten

 

Having already read so much about Steve McCurry, the famous American photojournalist, I approached the tranquil and quiet halls of St James Cavalier in Malta’s capital city of Valletta, with due respect and reverence. I have always admired McCurry’s work. For me, he has the knack of being in the right place at the right time and, as Cartier Bresson would aptly put it, of capturing the “right moment!”

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