First and foremost, please introduce yourself…
My name is Alison Werdmölder, I am half Maltese and half Dutch, currently in my final year of a BA in History of Art with Fine Art at the University of Malta.
When and how did you get started?
This is surprisingly hard to answer. I was always into arts and crafts and loved to experiment – notoriously I once filled in the grouting between the floor tiles with crayon. I kept it up long past the age most would put it away but only considered going into it professionally the week before I applied to University.
What genre do you consider your work to be?
I love to experiment, so this is basically impossible to answer. Some of my work is extremely traditional but other pieces are much more experimental. The thing that runs through all my work is a love for colour, and portraiture.
Describe your work in 10 words or less.
Layered, detail-oriented, colour-focused, moody, and pensive.
Where was your first exhibition held?
My first exhibition was MISC, a collective held in 2018 at the Splendid in Strait Street, Valletta.
Do you have a favourite from among your own artworks? If so, why?
Jeanelle (2019). As I mentioned before, it took me 20+ years of doing art to even consider taking myself seriously, and a small part of me still felt like I was kidding myself. This piece was unlike anything I had done so far, and when it was done, I finally felt ok saying ‘I’m an artist’, instead of ‘I study art’, when asked what I do. Also the model is my cousin, who I am close to, so it makes me happy that she’s such an important part of my journey.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m presently working on my thesis project Portraiture of Mental Illness, in which I’m using answers to a questionnaire I released to try to portray mental illness in an honest and personal way.
Which artist’s work are you most inspired by?
It’s next to impossible to pick just one, since I study History of Art alongside Fine Art, I’m constantly encountering new people who inspire me! Since I recently did a project on her, I’ll mention Agnes Martin; my work is nothing like hers but there’s a lot beyond the visual one can be inspired by.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Probably doing whatever job fell my way to fund my next travels…
What is the epitome of happiness for you?
Contentment in what I have, and patience for what is to come. Also that moment when a stranger’s dog gets excited to see you.
Favourite colour and what it means to you?
As a child my favourite crayon was black, because it stands out the brightest against the white of paper. I like to think I still look at colour in an unconventional way, and don’t let expectations affect my choices. I like best whatever colour feels right for the moment (I’m awfully bad at picking favourites).
And finally, what is Alison Werdmölder’s favourite indulgence?
Food, in all it’s wonderful forms. I love cooking it, I love watching people cook it, I love eating it, I love feeding it to people I love, I love receiving it. I think I made my point.
Featured image: 24M Psychosis (2020) by Alison Werdmölder
Discover the work of more Maltese and Malta-based artists here