Ilħna li Nara (Seeing Voices) – an exhibition by Paul Caruana

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Paul Caruana is about to launch his latest exhibition Ilħna li Nara (Seeing Voices). Born in April 1960, Paul has been a keen watercolour artist since childhood. He has taken part in numerous collective exhibitions, both locally and abroad. Paul studied art under the guidance of the late Antoine Camilleri, Harry Alden, and Anthony Degiovanni and has showcased works in various exhibitions, both solo and collectives. He has also produced illustrations for a number of publications about Valletta, such as George Cini’s books on Strada Stretta. asked him a few questions:

Your paintings brilliantly and colourfully capture life in Malta with all its quirks and foibles – the traditions, characteristics and the Mediterranean way of life. Why does this inspire you so much?

All these subjects remind me of a time, not so long ago when life was much simpler. I feel the need to record them – once our generation is gone, they’re gone with us.

What do you love about Malta?

Malta is where I was born, my home country. The fact that we’re surrounded by the Med makes it ideal for my kind of work. And the sunlight here is incredible.

What do you hate about Malta?

The modernisation. I understand that life needs to move on, but must we sweep everything under the carpet and pretend it never existed?

Your latest exhibition is called Ilħna li Nara (Seeing Voices) – what does this mean?

Seeing voices – It comes from the fact that I can see the people in my works, (I paint from my memories, characters that really existed) but I can’t hear their voices anymore. And even if I could, there’s no way I can translate their voices into colour.

Can you tell us a little about the paintings that form part of this exhibition?

The 20 paintings are all new works, created these past 12 months. They depict scenes and episodes from my past, a subject that fascinates me beyond words.

When and how did you get started?

I started painting when very young. Dad was in the Merchant Navy and he used to illustrate the letters with drawings, places he’d been to, and things he’d seen. Since I could not yet read, I’d draw stuff in our letters back – most of it stuff I wanted him to get me. Later on, I started using watercolour to illustrate the letters.

Favourite colour and what it means to you?

Right now I have this craving to use orange, I find it bright and sunny.

And finally, what is your favourite indulgence?

A good book, some nice, not so loud music and a glass of cool white wine. Not necessarily in that order…

Ilħna li Nara (Seeing Voices) will be exhibited at Palazzo de Piro, 3 Triq is-Sur, Mdina from Friday, October 4 until Thursday, October 31. Opening hours are Mondays to Thursdays 09:30 till 17:00 and Fridays to Sundays 09:30 till 22:00hrs. The exhibition is supported by BPC International, Palazzo de Piro, Infinitely Xara, and Gemelli Framing. For more information visit here

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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