An exhibition by Debbie Caruana Dingli

For anyone passionate about their art or craft, a long period of time away from this art form feels like an eternity, fingers start itching to create. This absence proves how important their art is to them, and that the desire to create is quite pure and strong, and indeed a necessity. This was definitely the case for Debbie Caruana Dingli and the creation of this collection of watercolors.

Caruana Dingli’s first solo exhibition was in 1985 and she has not stopped painting or exhibiting her work since, having exhibited her work in Malta and abroad also in group exhibitions. One of her self-portraits from 1985 is on display at the National Museum of Fine Arts of Malta in Valletta, MUŻA, and she was the 23rd artist selected for the Bank of Valletta retrospective exhibition in 2015, the first woman to have a retrospective exhibition devoted to his art. career.

Doris’ day

Caruana Dingli is a prolific and prominent representative of contemporary art in Malta, particularly relevant for her sensitivity to socio-political issues which she is vocal about, even through her art. However, she also focuses on her own reality, as was the case with her solo exhibition In front of meorganized in 2018 after a car accident in 2016.

The starting point for this present collection was born from doodles created very naturally and unintentionally by Caruana Dingli in a disturbing time. These doodles, done with a ballpoint pen and paper readily available to her, were a form of release, a release from a particularly stressful time from which Caruana Dingli needed to escape, however fleetingly.

Post-COVIDPost-COVID

Later, she realized that among these doodles emerged a very strong Maltese element; this was the start of her next project and the theme of her next solo exhibition, her latest being a large collection of oil paintings on a neglected aspect of motherhood held in Valletta between April and May 2021, titled Nothing really matters.

And so, this exhibition of watercolors executed in recent months, entitled The cappuccino brigade, which will be held at the Palm Court Lounge of the Phenicia Malta, is Caruana Dingli’s ninth solo exhibition; each painting is based on his observations of us, the native Maltese people.

The starting point for this present collection stems from doodles created very naturally and unintentionally by Caruana Dingli in a disturbing time.

His talent for painting is undeniable. As well as being an astute portrait painter and renowned watercolourist, Caruana Dingli also reveals her keen sense of observation in her quirky, intelligent and witty paintings that look like cartoons and share traits unique to the world. ‘artist.

Animals are nicer than peopleAnimals are nicer than people

Each of his paintings tells a story in a simple and effective way. These are, of course, exaggerations of reality, with amplified features and gestures, and are very topical. What appears to her and to many of us Maltese is a true Maltese identity, with warts and all, sometimes literally.

Paintings are executed with a wet-on-wet fluid, or all the prima very ruthless watercolor technique, above which are multiple lines drawn in sections of the composition that focus our attention on the story being told. These ink lines reveal the dynamism with which these paintings were executed, Caruana Dingli being at this moment completely lost in her work.

[slidecaption]The Scary Neighbor[/slidecaption]

[slidecaption]The Scary Neighbor[/slidecaption]

[slidecaption]Ghar Lapsi[/slidecaption]

[slidecaption]Ghar Lapsi[/slidecaption]

[slidecaption]Ħafna Nies li Jitkellmu bl-Ingliż[/slidecaption]

[slidecaption]Ħafna Nies li Jitkellmu bl-Ingliż[/slidecaption]

[slidecaption]Mara tal-Affari Tagha[/slidecaption]

[slidecaption]Mara tal-Affari Tagha[/slidecaption]

[slidecaption]The octopus on the run[/slidecaption]

[slidecaption]The octopus on the run[/slidecaption]

She uses a vibrant palette for these compositions which goes very well with the theme of the Maltese, who can be very loud and proud: just look at the title piece of the exhibition. That’s not to say there aren’t more dark and poignant paintings included in this collection, like The Wedding Photo.

There is bound to be something that we Maltese will associate, laugh or even laugh at, and for outsiders to get to know us, the colorful Maltese, better.

The Cappuccino Brigade, hosted by Charlene Vella, will be open throughout September at the Palm Court Lounge, The Phenicia, Floriana.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support us

About Frances White

Check Also

Five things we love this week: September 16 | five things

Visit the art center The Kokomo Art Center Volunteer Exhibit opened last week and will …