Gilbert Calleja

The (working) title of my research is ‘Identity and the Maltese fisherman: challenging stereotypes through multi-media platforms – a practice-based case study.’

25th March – 1st July, 2018, Collective exhibition: ‘Dal-baħar madwarha’ (transl. The Island is what the sea surrounds) collective exhibition at Fort St Elmo Valletta, Malta, as part of the Valletta18 – European Capital of Culture program of activities.

For this commission I designed a 5 channel (5.1) sound installation within an enclosed space of approx. 3metres x 4metres. The piece lasts 10 mins and is looped with a 5 second pause in between. The work is designed as an immersive aural experience composed of different ‘ambient’ sounds recorded during the Summer 2017 on board the ‘Joan of Arc’.

The sound design brings together a variety of sounds ranging from the repetitive droning of the engines and generators to the sound of the sea from the boat and underwater, to bits and pieces of conversation between the crew or over radio communication.

In June (1st – 20th)  2017 I was invited to show a selection of my photographic work at the Berlaymont Buildings in Brussels. The chosen pieces visually explored the step-by-step process of the Lampara fishing method as practiced by the Abela family who have been practicing this method for over 50 years and with whom I have been working for over five years.

The exhibition involved the participation of the Permanent Representation of Malta to the EU, the Maltese Presidency of the EU 2017 Cultural activities organisational team, Arts Council Malta in collaboration with the cabinet led by Karmenu Vella EU commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Mr Vella together with HE Ambassador Marlene Bonnici inaugurated the exhibition.

During the Summer I was also one of the artists selected to show my work with transgender individuals in Malta (LIMINAL, 2013, vimeo.com/77988733) at the Venice biennale (May-Nov 2017) as part of the Maltese pavilion (homomelitensis.org/artists/gilbert-calleja/).

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