The Ministry for Energy and Water Management has donated a large mural ceramic decoration entitled ‘Energy Field’ to Heritage Malta, which falls within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government.
The mural is the work of renowned late artist Gabriel Caruana. Originally, the mural was made up of 49 individual pieces, which used to cover an expanse of some 7.5 metres and was installed at the Power Station of Delimara.
Minister for Energy and Water Management Joe Mizzi said that The Gabriel Caruana Collection, which was originally affixed to a wall at the Delimara Power Station, was given to Enemalta in the 1990’s by the artist, a former employee of Enemalta.
The artworks, Minister Mizzi added, had to be dismanteld to make way for the new gas-fired power station and it was decided that they should be handed over to Heritage Malta to remain part of the country’s national art collection.
Minister Mizzi thanked Enemalta for this commendable initiative to restore the artworks due to the fact that during the years, they had sustained damages and Enemalta wanted to make sure that the artworks are received in ther best condition. The restoration project cost 8,000 euro.
“Thanks to this donation, we are further strengthening Caruana’s legacy as one of our local modern art pioneers. Whilst also commemorating this great artist, we are also reinforcing the cultural and artistic platform for local talent and for local artists to increase professionalisation within the sector. We want to invest further in our growing cultural and creative sector, a sector that has been increasingly strengthened and is performing to high expectations,” said Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici.
Gabriel Caruana (1929 – 2018) was a renowned artist in the field of sculpture, painting, and ceramics. He was one of the pioneers of modern art, expressing himself in innovative sculptures in wood, papier-mâché, objets trouvés, paintings and ceramic art.
His works were exhibited in Malta and abroad, in a time when it was quite challenging to travel, to make connections, and to establish his name outside of his home country. His friendship and contacts with artists, creatives and critics earned him precious experience, introductions and artistic growth.
With an intensive artistic career spanning over 60 years, he has received several recognitions including the Medal for Artistic Achievement (1999), the Premju Għarfien Kulturali (2003), and a gold medal by the Malta Society for Arts (2014) for his contribution as an artist and art educator.
Caruana has been key to make contemporary art more accessible to the public. In 1990, he succeeded to convert an old mill in Birkirkara into a centre for modern art and together with Mary Rose Caruana, he founded the Mill Art, Culture and Crafts Centre which seeks to promote local artists.
Gabriel Caruana’s mural will join other works of the artist, which are held in the MUŻA collection. Part of this mural will be exhibited for a number of weeks within the MUŻA courtyard to be enjoyed by the public.
“Heritage Malta shall be issuing a number of calls in the coming weeks for artistic installations and exhibitions in line with MUŻA’s programming for the coming years. This will give the opportunity to the local artistic community to exhibit and showcase their work,” said Heritage Malta, Acting CEO, Noel Zammit.
“This forms part of Heritage Malta’s strategy to bring MUŻA in line with its mission – that of being an art and community museum,” concluded Zammit.