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‘Gibraltar As Seen by Five Artists’ curated by Philippa Beale
October 17 @ 10:00 am - October 28 @ 6:00 pm
Gibraltar As Seen By Five Artists
Paul Cosquieri | Shane Dalmedo | Nina Danino | Carolina Santos Floriano | Karl Ullger
curated by Philippa Beale
17-28 October 2017
Phillippa Beale, an English artist and curator, has chosen Paul Cosquieri, Shane Dalmedo, Nina Danino, Carolina Santos Floriano and Karl Ullger, to showcase their work on Gibraltar.
The exhibition highlights the individual agendas of these five artists whose work, when viewed collectively, reveals a highly topical and polemical narrative towards the current political and economic situation in Gibraltar after the Brexit referendum.
For 300 years, Gibraltar has guarded the Straits and loyally stuck to Britain. Culturally European and Llanito speaking, what it means to be Gibraltarian is a curious phenomenon. The language is derived from Spanish, influenced by Andalusian Spanish and English, with an extended vocabulary taken from Genoese, Hebrew, Maltese and Portuguese. Gibraltarians call themselves Llanitos, recognising the hybridity of their culture and language, which in the spoken form involves peppering their language with English using a code – something only they can understand.
The current Socialist-Labour Government leads an entirely multi-cultural society. Gibraltar has now become a byword for tolerance, as about a third of the population are either Jewish, Muslim or Catholic. Unity and respect for the mores of each culture prevails.
Here, council flats are by the sea and the richer live up the Rock. The climate is tropical but the cultural events are Anglo-Saxon; comprising of theatre, Book-Fairs, Royal Academy exhibitions and a National Art Gallery showing the work of great Gibraltarians with Spanish and Italian names. It is a humane place to live, where the government truly looks after its people; the epitome of ‘small is beautiful’ and as Solomon Levi, the first Mayor of the Gibraltar, says it is an, ‘example to the world’.
Growing up in Gibraltar has been crucial in defining my painting style in more ways than one. Living in a closed frontier Gibraltar meant that one could not get away from the shadow of the omnipresent and imposing limestone Rock and its sheer physicality.
Carolina Santos Floriano
The different perspectives offered by the landscape of the Campo de Gibraltar have always made me think about the peculiarity of this territory, and it is precisely this reflection that has served as an inspiration for my last project.
The subject of my work is mostly I would say to be an exploration into the human condition; and toys, dolls, ornaments and objects are a very important part of my expressive language. I feel that these retain their own energy. They are keepers of stories and secrets and so they add their own language to mine when I use them in my work to form a new dialogue.
My life is in Gibraltar, where over 90 per cent of us voted to remain in Europe. For us living in a totally multi cultural, multi religious society, where we eat and drink and trade with Europe and Europeans all the time; the very idea of Brexit is perplexing. We do not understand why Britain our mentor and Alma Mater would want to leave and so my current work is all about this dilemma, this schizophrenic situation in which we Gibraltarians find ourselves.
Many of my works draw from inter-subjective experiences, cultural references, geography and a sense of place. Gibraltar is an entry point to the local, the regional and to the wider Mediterranean from where I can travel out as far out as I want.