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  • Writer's pictureSara Pace

Malta Oskura

Dark Malta Festival - Art Exhibition

Malta Oskura, is the Art Exhibition linked to the Dark Malta Music Festival. This underground festival promotes Gothic, Industrial and Metal music. The festival is organised every year by local DJ Hades; aka Rene Farrugia. For the second year running, the festival was accompanied by a Visual Arts exhibition. Rene met up with the selected five artists, namely Joseph Bugeja, Luca Cauchi, Jennings Falzon, Franco Navarro and myself to create artworks that pertain to the theme of Darkness, the works consist of paintings, designs, prints and sculptures. The works on display focus on dark elements both from Maltese mythology, folklore and everyday life.

The term 'Dark' in the gothic style encompasses elements of horror, fear, discomfort and death. For every light there needs to be equal darkness, and dark shading in art gives a stronger impact to the object shown, thus both are needed in our life. Apart from interpreting this term in their own way and giving it their meaning, the artists have on purpose chosen darker coloured palettes, sharply painted lines and materials that evoke this sense of fear. Such media as barbed wire, rough sand and the texture of prickly pear leaves were used.

The festival took place at the Gianpula festival grounds, where the exhibition was set up next to the Main Stage. Local and international bands and DJs played for three days from the 21st to the 23rd of April 2023. This year the festival reached a milestone of over a thousand attendees, which is an honour to the organisers in the local gothic underground music scene. The three days passed in a blur of great music, dancing, meeting lots of awesome people and having good discussions about our art practice. Accompanying the Maltese artists during the festival was Sicilian gothic freehand cartoonist Esther Cardella, this was her second artistic visit to the island, having previously exhibited at the Malta Comic Con in 2022.

The Art exhibition was launched as a standalone event on the 29th of April and will be running for 2 weeks until the 14th of May at the Casino Notabile, Rabat, Malta. Casino Notabile is a British period architectural gem on Saqqajja Hill, Rabat. It was designed by Webster Paulson and completed in 1888. Its eclectic design lent itself very well to the display of the artworks. The exhibition was launched to Gothic and Industrial tunes spinned by DJ Hades, wine and some good old dark chocolate were had, and it was inaugurated by local well known writer, journalist and our own Goth girl Ms. Ramona Depares. The exhibition is free to access for all visitors and is open daily from 17.00 pm - 20.00 pm and during the weekends from 10.30 am - 13.00 pm and then again from 16.00 pm - 21.00 pm.

We look forward to seeing you at the exhibition, and hope you enjoyed this read!

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