This article was first published on The Times of Malta. For more articles and discussions, visit timesofmalta.com

Malta's newest space for contemporary art this month

Gallery under artistic direction of Norbert Francis Attard

The META Foundation announces the official opening of Valletta Contemporary (VC) – Malta’s newest space for contemporary art. The gallery, which is located on East Street in Valletta, opened its doors to the public on April 13.

Under the artistic direction of artist and architect Norbert Francis Attard, VC will champion contemporary art as a catalyst for discussion, social cohesion, and cultural discovery.

Showcasing the best in local contemporary art and an exciting programme of international artists, the gallery will aim to become a dynamic and welcoming home for Malta’s diverse cultural community.

“VC is a place that celebrates experimentation and boundary-pushing art” said Artistic Director Norbert Francis Attard. “When I acquired the space for the gallery its transformation felt not only like a distant fantasy, but almost an ideological – and structural – impossibility. Now, together with my team, the vision of VC is tangibly taking shape. We cannot wait to welcome visitors into the finished space”.

The VC team also announced its inaugural exhibition – Territories Soñados, which ran until May 25 – which showcases the work of Spanish contemporary artist Carlos Coronas.

Coronas's exhibition comes to VC following its stint at Centro Niemeyer – one of Brazilian modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer’s last completed buildings. The work featured uses radiating light in an attempt to mirror organic processes, such as breathing.

Coronas's large-scale, fluorescent structures create luminescent ecosystems with varying light intensities, each manipulating the environment and the visitors' experience of it.

“The Meta Foundation would like to thank Carlos Coronas for being the first artist to collaborate with VC,” Attard said. “The work he will show at the gallery is transformative and engaging, forcing us to be aware of our own physicality, and the physical traits of the environment around us. We are so priveleged to be able to work with Carlos, and with a superb group of artists who will be showing with us over next year’s programme”.

The Meta Foundation, which is the gallery’s founding organisation, has signed a three-year collaboration agreement with the Fondazzjoni Ċentru Għall-Kreattivitá of the St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, as well as a cultural partnership agreement with the Malta Arts Council. The strength of these working relationships will act as the keystone to VC’s growth and its significant position within Malta’s cultural landscape.

VC gallery was conceived, designed and realised by its director – artist and architect, Norbert Francis Attard. Transformed from a former cooper’s workshop on the city’s periphery, the gallery is sited away from Valletta’s main centre and aims to play an important role in the regeneration of a lesser known part of the city.

Attard designed the space using a blend of contemporary material finishes, cutting-edge display techniques, and clean open volumes. Besides being Malta’s newest art destination, VC is also home to a gallery shop which stocks a variety of products including original artworks, limited edition prints, and hand-selected books and journals.

A second phase of the gallery’s launch later in the year will unveil an exciting art-inspired eatery – a guaranteed hot spot for Valletta’s cultural community. General admission to VC is free of charge, and visitors can stay up-to-date with the gallery’s exhibition and events programme via its website and social media pages.

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