Muscat Spring 2008
Portrait of an Artist
She may be Maltese, but for Stephanie Borg it’s Muscat that is her muse. Time Out profiles the artist for whom it’s all about Oman.
Born in 1971, Stephanie Borg is a self-taught artist from Malta who has been working professionally for over 15 years. Stephanie first exhibited in Oman back in 2002 in joint exhibition at Muscat’s Majlis Gallery. This lead to her holding her first solo exhibition two years later in her home country. Having proved herself as an artist and generated a considerable buzz along the way, Stephanie’s work was spotted by Cleverbank (the people behind the light and sound show of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games). The company included Stephanie’s Omani subjects in the programme catalogue for Oman’s 35th National Day that they presented to the Sultan of Oman, the popular Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. Having successfully established herself as a loud presence in the Middle East art world, Stephanie was subsequently invited by the Art & Design department of the American University of Science and Technology in Lebanon to conduct a workshop where some of her art was also exhibited. In addition to her paintings, Borg is also the creative genius behind a popular series of gift cards, gift wrap paper and calendars. The range – which depicts her Omani themed drawings – has proven to be a big hit with tourists looking for memorabilia that captures the essence of Oman.
All of Stephanie’s prints are limited edition. Her work – available in most top-end hotel gift shops – can also be viewed by logging onto www.stephanieborg.com
You’ve never been to art school. How did you develop your skills?
Books and the work of other artists have always been a source of knowledge and inspiration for me. I also try to challenge myself to go a step further with every new painting. I’m a perfectionist by nature, failure is never an option.
How did you come to be in Muscat?
When I came here I was married and I came here to accompany my husband for his new job opportunity.
What inspires you about Muscat?
The openness and big expanses give me a sense of freedom, which makes me feel alive. Also the multitude of colours in Muscat is a forever fascinating element that continuously surprises me.
Describe the art scene in Muscat.
Good local talent is on the rise, and artists have more opportunities to showcase their work, which is resulting in more interest from the public, who in turn are becoming more educated about art. It’s all very promising.
Professionally, what are your plans for 2008?
I am introducing two new limited edition prints and am also working on redesigning my website – loading new work. Later in the year, I am planning to expand my paper gift merchandise line.