Blinking is an automatic gesture that half-knowingly punctuates our perception of visual reality in time. It ruptures the continuum of sight, thus lending it an inescapable and unceasing rhythm. It is also a mundane act of maintenance; we need to shut our eyes, so as to be able to keep them open. The work presented here is concerned with rhythms of life, and ways of perceiving. Like a blink, the work ruptures automated and familiar cycles, propelling them forward then back again.
In his sculptural work, Tom Van Malderen summons and repurposes objects and elements from day-to-day life, usually taken for granted (not unlike blinking), putting into question what the elements that make up our quotidian routines can mean and represent. He decomposes our experience of objects, proposing a new time-frame to the encounter with furniture, creating a rupture in our daily rhythm. He asks us to imagine what can happen if we are not preoccupied with the usual function, habit and necessity that furniture triggers.
Nigel Baldacchino's photographic work highlights the way windows articulate light and vision throughout the day in our urban reality. As days and seasons go by, windows modulate the interior onlooker’s perception of what is exterior, and vice versa, by reflecting, refracting (when half open, at an angle) and transmitting light in different degrees. Nigel's work freezes specific instances in these cycles that, like blinking, highlight their perpetual motion. A blink is also a moment of exception, to one's gaze, much like a window is a moment of exception to the opaque presence of a wall.
About the artists
NIGEL BALDACCHINO (b. 1989) is an artist and design architect based in Malta. His artistic practice extends to various media, including photography, music production, video, text, and design of physical objects / spaces.
His use of photography as a medium tends mostly towards a painterly artistic dynamic, in that his work is often less about showcasing content than it is about evoking mood through visual expression and conveying personal comments on the perception of a knowingly shared reality. His impetus towards taking photographs runs loose in theme, and is often fueled instead sporadically by his own recurring musings and observations about the way one relates to the world around them through their presence in space and their perception of it.
Past collective photographic exhibitions include Sense of Place (BOZAR Centre of Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium, 2012), In Transit (NRW Forum in Dusseldorf / Stadskantoor and Leewarden, 2017) and Transitions (Painture Fraiche, Brussels Belgium, 2020).
Prints of his photographs and work in video were acquired by the The Malta National-Community Art Museum in 2017 as part of their collection. His photography was also published on GUP Magazine’s first edition of ‘FRESH EYES’ (2020).
In 2019 Nigel published Soon Out of Context (Unsolicited Press) featuring instances of his own poetry presented in dialogue with found images lifted from old publications, now in the public domain.
TOM VAN MALDEREN ‘s work ranges from buildings to furniture, installations and exhibition design. He likes to probe the intersections between art, design and architecture in his practice; always on the lookout for material gestures in everyday constellations, split personalities in objects and ambiguities in the construction of social space.
Past exhibitions include Good Conditions (DMW Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium, 2019), Except for Access Only (Malta Contemporary Art, Valletta, Malta 2018) and Good Walls Make Good Neighbours (Valletta International Visual Arts Festival, Malta 2015). Tom designed several sets and exhibitions like Superlikes for ZfinMalta, Homo Melitensis the Malta Pavilion at the 57th Venice Art Biennial and Malta, Land of Sea for BOZAR, Centre of Fine Arts in Brussels.
Press release courtesy Valletta Contemporary.