The visual art exhibition ‘Memories from Mars’, which was originally launched on 5 March at the Malta Society of Arts’ (MSA) Art Galleries, was closed down a few days after its opening due to the then emerging coronavirus pandemic. At the time, the first Covid-19 local case was confirmed, and the MSA decided to postpone the exhibition.
The new dates have now been set for the first two weeks of September. Viewers who had planned to visit the exhibition but hadn’t managed to do so in March, can now see the colourful art show while respecting new social distancing measures.
Back in March, Italian artist Lucio Dubini was both shocked and surprised at the news of the closing down of his first solo exhibition, for which he had been working very hard for years, especially in the intense few weeks prior to its opening: “In just a few days, the world changed and I basically had no choice but to adapt. Obviously, I am now very pleased about the re-opening of my exhibition in September as it is a second opportunity to share my works with the public,” says Mr Dubini.
Asked whether ‘Memories from Mars’ will be any different now that it’s re-opening, Mr Dubini comments that, from the point of view of the artworks on show, everything will remain the same. However, to avoid crowd gatherings, there will be no official opening reception, and the Malta Society of Arts will be implementing all the required safety measures. As MSA Manager Joe Scerri explains, “this is being done in order to protect the health of the visitors and of our staff, and measures will include the use of hand sanitisers, the taking of temperatures and the wearing of masks, among others.”
On the upside, the artist will be present at the Art Galleries of the MSA for most of the duration of the exhibition, to meet the public and answer their questions. This is something which Mr Dubini hadn’t planned to do when the exhibition opened the first time round, and which he now feels will give him contact with the public – which is so important for an exhibiting artist – but spread over more days and hours and respecting all the necessary safety measures.
‘Memories from Mars’ is curated by Roderick Camilleri, who is also glad the exhibition is being given a second chance as the works deserve to be enjoyed by a wider public.
Pausing the exhibition has given everyone the time to reflect. Mr Dubini observed the changes that he went through during this time: “In these strange past few months, I learned to adjust to changing conditions and to look for solutions. Covid has helped me evolve both as a person as well as an artist, and I will be participating positively renewed in this second round of the exhibition. Lastly, I hope that the colourful and playful nature of my paintings will convey moments of much-needed joy to the visitors of the exhibition!”
‘Memories from Mars’ by Lucio Dubini will be open from the 1 to 16 September 2020 at the Art Galleries of Palazzo de La Salle, Republic Street, Valletta. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm; Saturday 10am to 1pm. Entrance is free. More info on www.artsmalta.org/events and www.facebook.com/maltasocietyofarts