Local artist Michelle Gialanze, also known as Mixa, will be exhibiting her oil paintings at the Art Galleries of the Malta Society of Arts’ (MSA) seat Palazzo de La Salle in Valletta between 13 and 27 February 2022. Titled Motherhood, the exhibition’s idea was first conceived after Gialanze lost her mother six years ago, which pushed her to analyse the role of mothers, grandmothers, and the narrative of motherhood.
The works will be exhibited under three sections covering the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of motherhood. “These concepts were developed after an in-depth analysis of how mothers are perceived within families and society, the way that they are depicted in the Bible, the stories which surround the role of motherhood, and the reality of the role of motherhood,” reflects Gialanze. “Some of the works depict mothers I know; others are from drawing workshops I was part of. But ultimately, the interpretation is through my own experience as a mother.”
Some of the paintings portray specific instances experienced by the artist. Gialanze explains that the ‘physical’ paintings convey her fascination with the way a child is conceived into a human being and references her own trauma of giving birth to one of her daughters at 29 weeks after her struggle to keep her in her body. The second section, addressing the ‘emotional’ part, explores the conflict of pure love and stress which mothers go through, and their struggle to be the best mothers they can be, within their human limitations.
In addition to the 24 oil paintings, the exhibition will also include a special section which will serve as a ‘memorial’ to mothers who are no longer here physically but whose presence is still strongly felt – in fact, Mixa dedicates this exhibition to her mother. “My mum’s presence, and the thought of how she struggled in her life, linger on in me. Mothers are not meant to leave us, and indeed, they never do, as they live on in our memories,” she says.
Encouraging everyone to visit the powerful exhibition, MSA President Arch. Adrian Mamo observes that “Mixa’s Motherhood will be the first new exhibition in our 2022 programme, and we’re delighted to be hosting a show where every viewer will be able to feel the artist’s evocative emotions conveyed through her canvasses.”
Michelle ‘Mixa’ Gialanze’s exhibition Motherhood is on at the Malta Society of Arts’ Palazzo de La Salle in Valletta between 13 and 27 January 2022. Opening Hours are Mondays to Fridays 8am to 7pm, Saturdays 9am to 1.30pm, Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. Entrance is free, subject to Covid-19 safety measures. For more information, please visit www.artsmalta.org/events or www.facebook.com/maltasocietyofarts.