The first collaborative exhibition between father and son in different mediums, Vo/Eracity will present a series of sculptures by Paul Scerri and Thomas Scerri. indulge.com.mt caught up with them, as they prepare for the launch which is taking place this evening.
Born in 1990, Thomas is always interested in looking beyond, visualising the invisible and uncovering the hidden. Abstract concepts are brought into the physical world, taking organic shapes – creating contrast between the man-made and the natural. He lets the material dictate the form, letting the unconscious drive the work.
Thomas’s contribution to the exhibition is entitled Mill-ħafna sad-difna (From seizing to burial). “This project was instigated by the sad situation where a great number of trees were sacrificed due to construction of roads, apartments and bad pruning,” he says. Trunks from the actual trees that suffered this slaughter were used in this body of work, letting them dictate the final form of the sculptures. “Again, there is the contrast between the organic and the man-made – a dichotomy which is addressed frequently in my work.”
Thomas’s father is sculptor Paul Scerri. Paul’s sculptures represent today’s society, a society built on apathy, ignorance, greed, and the love of power. “Traits that are destructing our ambiance, our characteristics, and robbing us of our identity,” opines Paul. “The sitting position of the sculptures indicate an attempt to dialogue, a discussion to cure this socio-economic malady.”
This is the first time you are exhibiting together. What was it like to produce a father / son exhibition?
Paul: It was an honour for me that Thomas was eager to exhibit with me. Although we use different mediums, we both create three-dimensional sculptures, and are very similar in our principles and ideology.
Thomas: It is a great privilege for me to be exhibiting along my father not just because he is my father but also because I look up to him. This was also quite intimidating for me as I’m still fresh on the scene. Although sometimes we argue, it has been a good opportunity for us to bond.
Both of you are making strong statements about issues that are dominating the news today – the unfettered destruction of trees; and a society that seems to be going to the dogs! Do you feel a strong responsibility as artists to comment about social and political issues?
Paul: Yes, I do, but first and foremost, I feel it is a moral obligation as a citizen of a country which I hold close to my heart. Every individual has to carry such an obligation unless one is apathetic or indifferent. However, as an artist I have the benefit to give a strong voiceless opinion through my sculptures. I use art as a means of conversational dialogue. I do this with great responsibility and thought but ultimately the audience has the same responsibility to analyse and evaluate the message. An artist is supposed to be true to himself and sensitive to his surroundings, hence he will inevitably depict his feelings through his art.
Thomas: I think artists tend to be more sensitive to certain issues and I feel that it is a duty to comment on such social matters and to express concerns that society seems so immune to. Being an introvert, this is the way I voice myself and I consider it as a sort of protest.
Vo/Eracity will be exhibited from 16 November to 9 December 2018 at Lazuli Art Gallery, 83 Palm Street, Victoria, Gozo. Opening Hours – Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 to 13.00hrs