Tessie, Giola Cassar’s latest photography project, will soon be presented to the public in an exhibition and a photobook. It is a body of work which is at once sensitive and bold and in which humanity is portrayed through objects, mostly jewellery, and built environments.
The project is the culmination of a few years of research and shooting. Tessie Scerri, a 102 year old former teacher, is the central figure of the exhibition and the book. At times, she appears cheerful and brimming with life. In other instances, the mood is more reflective and one gets a glimpse into the centenarian’s physical fragility. Cassar’s portraiture, however, never dwells on fragility for too long. Tessie is no pathetic old lady.
Cassar’s compositions speak first and foremost of order and contrast, be it in the way she frames her subjects, often placing them neatly in the dead centre of the picture, or in the way she handles colour to create contrast and texture in her photos of jewellery and drapery. Cassar favours a narrative that reflects a salutary stable way of life and a grounded, if not equanimous, attitude to life’s ups and downs.
The photobook, on the other hand, presents a grainier, more nuanced perhaps, view of who Tessie might be and the life events that have shaped her. This effect is in great part the result of the order in which one photo follows the other in the sections of the book. It is also the effect of the textual narratives, written by Glen Calleja, presented in the book with which the photographic work is in continuous dialogue. The prose proposes an alternative landscape on which Tessie’s and Cassar’s narratives unfold.
The exhibition will be held at the National Archives of Malta (Rabat) between the 25th October and 7th November. To pre-order your book, write to [email protected]
Opening hours will be as follows
Monday – Saturday 8:00- 14:00 Thursday – Friday 16:00 – 19:30 Sunday 10:00 – 13:00
More information: https://www.facebook.com/terezina101/