The enigmatic work of Adrian Abela

Artists are usually beings that question things. No doubt about that. Some artists even go to the extent of using their art to make those viewing their art question too. This is what artist Adrian Abela does. An architect by profession, he uses interdisciplinary practices, working with drawing, painting, video, objects, sculpture, actions, architecture and also uses research for the intangible. He wants his art to be used in a way that would allow viewers to change their perceptions of things.

Dark Islands from Dark Sea Series 2013 Adrian_Abela

Although Abela tries to make works that are visually interesting enough to exist without a meaning, some of his artworks are more complex than others. The Dark Sea series or the Octopus Cult (FeightH) are examples of his more complex artworks. They don’t necessarily need to be understood as works of this kind are meant to open a new world of interests that would allow one to discover new things and also alters one’s daily life. Adrian Abela was always interested in boundaries and these include the imaginary and real boundaries we as an island experience through the sea and immigration. The marriage between this story of immigration, and that of oil exploration, and the sculptural material of napalm, which existed in his mind, led to the research of both the story and the material and these later evolved into ‘The Dark Sea’ series. His artworks usually begin through an interest in a particular material, which he then applies to his artworks. There are always multiple projects that he works on simultaneously and only gets to apply them when he sees their relevance, or is happy with the result. Others get realised after some time.

'Let Them Speak' 2014_Adrian _Abela

Just as architectural work has taught him to question the purpose of function, of commission and so forth, he often applies this to his art when he subconsciously composes it as if he were designing a plan for one’s eyes when they view the work of art. Abela does not believe he should compromise with what the market wants from him even though he understands the financial difficulties face when they chose this option. He looks at the long term benefits. The amount of work and thought behind each artwork is all about what life teaches him and nothing to do what he learnt through reading books or films watched. He believes that the artwork is more truthful when you have lived it.

Gaddafi West 2011_ Adrian Abela_

If you wish to see lessons learnt through his artworks and keep updated with his implementation of public art projects, products and online interventions, you may do so by visiting abela . Remember to let your mind remain open to the creativity that unfolds once you discover new things in his artworks.

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Monique Chambers

Monique started indulge in 2011 and has since created Indulge Me GIFT and Indulge Me FOOD and volume 1 of The Artists Directory - Malta. A marketing professional by trade, Monique's passion is to promote local talent and Malta in general. Free time is her biggest indulgence, when she can tinker in her craft room or the kitchen, or be selfish with a book, the sofa and good glass of wine (of course, wearing something beautiful and with freshly coiffed hair!)

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