The Malta Independent

The Malta Independent

Thursday 19 February 2004

Expressions of Colour in Ink

The excitement of mounting your first solo exhibition is unique, thrilling and even a little nerve-wrecking. Angèle Spiteri Paris talks to young artist Stephanie Borg about this momentous occasion – and about her work and what inspires her.

Stephanie Borg’s first solo exhibition can easily be described as a delicate expression of colour.

Her paintings are executed in coloured inks built up in layers. Painted on watercolour paper, the numerous levels of paint often smooth the rough texture of the paper. The medium allows the artist to be expressive and its time-consuming nature challenges her as an artist.

Stephanie was thrilled to be given the opportunity to show her work. For her, this was a dream come true, and she was still trying to get to grips with the reality of it all. She stressed that someone who paints cannot simply call himself an artist – passion, understanding and a flair for art is needed.

The artist describes her paintings as a reflection of what she has been going through at the time. She is not only inspired by emotion but also by her observations of the world around her. This can be seen in the series of paintings entitled ‘Impressions of Venice’. In these paintings the gondola is used as a motif to evoke the spirit of the place. The artist was inspired by the typical Venetian boats and felt that they truly captured what Venice is all about.

Her small pieces depicting the Omani people show off her mastery of design and detail. They are not paintings that attempt to portray reality; instead one is faced with stylised figures that may be considered icons of the people she encountered.

Stephanie went on to explain that the larger paintings in her collection are more centred around the expression of emotion. ‘Radiant Messenger’ is the one painting she speaks of with extreme pride, especially considering that it took her a month to finish. She worked up to executing this detailed work through the rest of her collection. She said she had always wanted to paint some sort of angel but never knew what form it would take. The work also throws light on Stephanie’s interest in textile design. The intricacies seen in  the angel’s clothing are to be admired. The blending of colour and design is very artfully crafted.

In her painting entitled ‘Amaryllis’ one can observe a sensuous rendering of the petals of this flower. The artist’s sensitivity to nature can be clearly seen and Stephanie has succeeded in capturing the delicate characteristics of the flower. The same sensitivity to nature can also be observed in her ‘Flow of Green Leaves’ in which shades of green merge to create an undulating picture.

‘Blazing Dunes’ is a more forceful take on nature in which warm earth tones radiate the power of colour. With its swirling lines and strong design, the piece reflects the feeling that inspired the artist.

Stephanie Borg finds painting very satisfying and fulfilling and always aims to include painting in her busy schedule. The exhibition represents a year and a half’s work and she wishes she had more time available to pursue her passion.

The exhibition is mounted at the stylish premises of Cleland and Souchet at Portomaso, Malta. The setting is one that thoroughly complements the pieces due to the clean lines and chic setting.


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