The pandemic has left the world at a standstill. Physical travel has largely become very difficult, yet through our minds, we are able to transport ourselves to a multitude of ethereal places.
Il-Kamra ta’ Fuq’s latest exhibition, Fuga Modus, highlights this effect. It promises to transport viewers to ethereal places and ambiguous spaces that echo familiar Maltese landscapes while delving into an unknown where silence and tranquillity reign.
Through subtle strokes of burnt umbers, ochres and greys a dim yet still strikingly beautiful landscape is created in each piece – capturing the true silence that the pandemic has reflected upon the world.
In her latest exhibition, artist Joyce Camilleri skillfully explores the notion of escaping the hustle and bustle of life to escape to tranquillity.
Fuga Modus, which means Flight Mode in English, captures the urge to flee away from the reality that betrays our expectations of life and the need to flee for nature when we feel suffocated by urban life.
“Whoever visits my exhibition will be presented with a series of works that are not only meant to depict places but states of mind,” Camilleri told Lovin Malta.
“Flight mode is not only a function on our mobile phones or laptops, but flight mode is also a feeling and I truly hope that this exhibition enables the viewers to dream with their eyes wide open as they allow the images to transport them to wondrous places that might echo past travels or inspire future ones.”
Through the pandemic, nature has risen triumphant in spaces that have become void of human presence. In this, the Camilleri took herself as a silent onlooker; the embodiment of the omnipresence of humanity even in its visual absence.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Camilleri explained that the exhibition came about from the work she had done over the past year during the pandemic.
“As an artist, I go through extreme phases of total absorption in a work to other phases when I just need to observe and do nothing,” she explained.
Speaking about the artistic process of Fuga Modus, she identified that “the artistic process is no hard and fast recipe, I allow it to evolve in a very spontaneous manner and yet it would be the culmination of a structured approach resulting from my personal baggage of experience of the past twenty years”.
In many ways, the lockdowns we’ve experienced during COVID-19 have shown many the importance of silence and reflection.
Camilleri, herself a lover of hearing herself think, commented that “during both partial lockdowns, the need for such moments of introspection was hard to fulfil, especially being a mum of two energetic boys. Yet, with time we all found a positive balance”.
“We were there for each other, but we also compromised on how to respect each other’s needs to be essentially ourselves.”
Yet, something that the pandemic has taken away from us, is the ability to travel freely. It used to offer many the chance to get away from their lives and take a deep breath without stress or the chaos of life around them.
Camilleri is one to enjoy the escape to nature and its majestic scenery or visiting quiet, old city centres. It offers a complete escape from the hustle and bustle of noisy Malta, instead of adventuring into a whole new world.
“The past year was a phase void of plans, where I could focus on the here and now and I must confess that I am pretty satisfied with the outcomes,” Camilleri explained, emphasising that while travel is important, it isn’t indispensable.
“The limitations imposed by the pandemic thankfully provided me with more creative time in the studio, instances where I could mentally travel to imaginary places and surreal spaces, whereabouts in my subconscious that I had never visited before.”
It is through this subconscious travel that Camilleri undertook that Fuga Modus is truly able to come into its own, offering a prime example of the state of mind of how many people may have viewed the world during the pandemic.
Or, even how they have reimagined the world around them due to the inability to travel to those places.
Fuga Modus is now showing at Il-Kamra ta’ Fuq in Mqabba until 16th August 2021.
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