Recent West Dean College MFA graduate, Merna Liddawi, is currently taking part in the APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale on the island of Malta. The group exhibition, ‘The Mediterranean: A Sea of Conflicting Spiritualities’, runs until 7th January 2018. Another West Dean alumnus, a graduate from the Conservation of Books and Library Materials programme, Simon Sultana Harkins (Malta), co-curated the space and was fully involved in setting up the exhibition.
Under the Artistic Directorship of Dr. Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci, the Biennale takes place at the Mdina Cathedral Museum, presenting work of Maltese and International artists, each working in response to a given theme. Since 2015, the Biennale has taken a radically new direction from its origins in the exhibition ‘Contemporary Sacred Art in Malta’ (1994) and subsequent exhibitions under the title ‘Contemporary Christian Art’ which took place in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2005. For 2017, the Biennale explores multiple manifestations of Mediterranean identity as visualised by historical and contemporary art. Site-specific artworks investigate both the theme and the permanent collection of the Mdina Cathedral Museum, a former mid-18th century seminary building. The seminary’s gradual transition from ecclesiastical setting to exhibition space has made the Museum a prominent Maltese cultural institution.
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