Diversity - Recognising Individuality

Diversity – Recognising Individuality is the third and last instalment of a three year APS series, each consisting of a photography exhibition, a publication and the Bank’s yearly calendar. It signals the Bank’s commitment to recognising and appreciating the variety of characteristics that give individuals and whole communities their uniqueness. In the words of Anthony Catania, who contributed a keynote essay on ‘embracing photography in a floating world of artistic diversity’, “the overcoming of difficulties in knowing that you can live at peace with those who are different is the source of deeper communion, and thus dignifies every relationship”. Thus lies the real rationale behind this year’s initiative: it is being done with the intention to open minds, hearts and even ears and help bridge gaps through the medium of art.

 

Five local photographers’ diverse perspectives are being explored through this year’s publication. They were once again identified by exhibition curator and publication editor, Kevin Casha, for their sense of dedication and originality and depth of exploration of the chosen theme. Kevin willingly focused on the domestic perspective of diversity, choosing to highlight how they work, what inspires them, their different techniques and what they are trying to convey to their viewers.

Lit candles and icon lamps have a special symbolic meaning in many faiths. Light is commonly regarded as the symbol of joy and of life-giving power. The midnight service of the Resurrection is an occasion when each person carries a white candle.

Sita Azzopardi’s take on spiritual diversity is about having respect for, and displaying love, understanding, compassion and kindness towards the unique spiritual experiences and expressions of each person. Spirituality is seen as an individual dimension of human development through which every human seeks connectedness and life meaning. This brings us to understand the beauty of diversity in spirituality and religion, where anyone should be free to endorse and practise his/her own beliefs, while respecting other opinions, cultures and societies.

She is employed as a company secretary and during her off-time loves the challenge of gardening.

Duncan Cauchi’s main goal in the execution of this project was to capture the diverse attitudes in one’s character, be it at work, with family or during free time. We all behave and act differently in the various circumstances and situations life can offer. He chose to depict the diverse personalities through a number of techniques such as split image, one image over another, images with different opacity, profile shots, and so on. Another condition he posed to the models was for them to not use any props unless they could be held in their hands – this way, he could create a unique studio ambiance.

“Gozo captures and embodies the diverse textures of a natural and manmade environment”

Ondre Camilleri-Gaglione invited other photographers to collaborate with him on the project, with the aim of documenting the different ways photographers interpret diversity through the lens. This homogeneous perspective, however, is according to Camilleri-Gaglione, still rooted in personal experience. He took a photo of them next to their own work as a way of capturing a double layer of meaning - the first being the diversity of the participating photographers, and the other their diverse interpretations of the theme. My aim was to show that, within a small community of photographers who all live on the same small islands, there is diversity of nationality, background, preferred photographic genre and viewpoint.

In today’s society, technology and independence are key elements of our lives, keeping us connected at all times; but do we take time to stop and rest?

Richard Farrugia highlights the Maltese islands in all their beauty, emphasising how diverse their ecology is. Various locations are depicted in his part of the project with the hope of illustrating how the same place we see every day can change from one moment to the next. This passing of time, months and seasons can be seen in his photos in a more tangible manner, and so can the frequent metamorphosis of our islands and lifestyle. Farrugia’s photos also serve to raise awareness of the heavy urbanisation of the country, often overlooked on our frequent commutes to and from work or school.

A sacred art exponent, Kurt is one of the acclaimed painters of this genre in Malta. His works are displayed in many band clubs and private collections all around the Island.

Keith Ellul was inspired by the photography medium to explore the theme of diversity, and in a deeper manner, to realise that individual themes in photography are a reflection of one’s personal life, society in general, human nature and religious beliefs. His way of tackling diversity in the arts was to contact various local artists who he admires and who use different mediums from watercolour to charcoal, to sculpture and ceramics. He chose to depict the diversity within their works, mediums or type of work produced, but most of all in the particular and individual way they see things around them.

Diversity - Recognising Individuality Book

Their works should stimulate exhibition visitors to view diversity from a wider perspective and to be able to not only tolerate diversity but to actually embrace it as one of the benefits of society. The public is invited to visit between Mondays and Fridays from 8.30am to 4.00pm and on Saturdays from 8.30am to 12.00pm. Copies can be bought from APS Centre in Swatar.

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