EX LIBRIS exhibition at Valletta’s Bibliotheca

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EX LIBRIS is an exhibition of metal art created by Scandinavian artist Marie Louise Kold. The exhibition centres on inspiration which comes from the metal, metallurgy, chemistry, and alchemy-themed, centuries-old books at the Bibliotheca in Valletta. Both the books themselves and their scientific content have inspired metal artworks created from copper, bronze, and brass in the form of metal books and scrolls, as well as other artifacts containing text. These interact with the unique surroundings of the National Library.

EX LIBRIS is a multifaceted exploration across many fields of knowledge; bridging the past and the present, juxtaposing permanence and transience, challenging certainty and intuition, and melding science and art. The exhibition is curated by Ġorġ Mallia.

Says Kold: “EX LIBRIS is truly a labour of love. It started years ago with the central inspiration being the Bibliotheca and its books. I’m captivated by the scientific content and the aesthetic qualities of these incredible books. This overwhelming inspiration, which struck me years ago, has now resulted in EX LIBRIS. Almost all of the works contain text in one way or another.
“In many cases I have etched text so deeply into metal sheets that it almost resembles a pattern more than text, and it seem uncertain whether it will last forever or, on the other hand, disintegrate, much like the actual books themselves at the Bibliotheca, as they age. You could say that I am using the very materials described in these books to explore the inspiration the books themselves in turn invoke… going full circle!

“I have worked with copper, bronze and brass for more than 20 years,” adds Kold. “These metals, and how they react to chemicals, the weather, time, and human touch continuously challenge, baffle, frustrate and delight me. As an artist, books and words have been a constant source of inspiration – particularly the meaning they convey, the purely graphic qualities of letters and the sculptural aspect of books. Chemistry, used scientifically as well as intuitively, is ever-present. Time is a key element in both my artwork and in the process behind their creation. And I have to say, it feels like the EX LIBRIS works, now at the Bibliotheca, have come home.”

EX LIBRIS, which is endorsed by the Valletta 2018 Foundation, is hosted by the National Library, Old Treasury Street, Valletta; and will remain open until June 2. Admission is free. (Remember to bring an ID card so they let you in.)

The exhibition is open between 8.15am to 5.00pm from Monday to Friday, and from 8.15am to 1.00pm on Saturdays.  For further information visit : www.mlkold.com

There will be a public talk on May 22 at 7.00pm, hosted by Kold and Mallia. Vide https://www.facebook.com/events/150666379116710/ for more information.

Paula Fleri-Soler

Paula has a pedigree in TV and stage production (children's and family entertainment) and a passion for the arts. She's taken the reins on The Artists' Directory - Malta and the relevant content for the site.

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