2023 - Sheepsbodies
Art collaboration with writer Lara Calleja
This multidisciplinary exhibition aims at questioning the idea of self and authenticity in a world that constantly presents us with endless, fast information and shifting standards.
Four spaces are created for this exhibition in which Matthew F. Cassar presents a series of visual works that simulate our interaction with this information overload that we live in. In each room a written piece by Lara Calleja highlights different emotive qualities that augment the visual works, underlining a developing feeling from one room to the next.
7th December 2023 - 14th of January 2024
This event is being sponsored by APS Bank and Caravaggio Wines by Marsovin.
THE CONCEPT What is 'sheepsbodies'?
Sheepsbodies is inspired by the slang term ‘dogsbody’, which was originally used by the British Royal Navy referring to junior officials who were assigned to do all the unpleasant tasks or ‘dirty work’. This colloquial term is demeaning and inflicts a sense of servility on the receiving end.
A dog obeys, but a sheep chooses to follow. Therefore, through sheepsbodies we shall explore the same idea of servility, and how this influences our identity, but rather than from an imposed social stratum, such as social class, religion or employment rank, we shall look at it as a personal choice of ‘who to follow and be influenced by’ within the modern social media reality.
How are our identity and idea of self influenced by this process? Are we being servile to the concept of infinite information that is persistently available to us? Are these processes hindering us from focusing and consequently developing our very own authenticity and developing our self? How is this process influencing how we react and interpret the world outside? These are the questions that this exhibition will seek to challenge.
2018 - Hope in the Journey of Recovery (Social art project)
‘Hope in the Journey of Recovery’ opened on Friday the 12th of October at Mt Carmel Hospital in Attard. This was a collective exhibition between patients at Mt. Carmel Mental Hospital under the supervision of artist Matthew F. Cassar. The viewers witnessed ten large works of art done by patients at ten different wards at Mt. Carmel Hospital. The paintings show a vibrant look at the passion and personal motives that these patients had to show. Everything was amalgamated with the artist’s colorful style making sure that the paintings were as fun to do as they were to watch as an end result.
This projects aimed to drop the negative stigma that patients at such hospitals suffer from while giving a creative output to each participating patient. It was purposefully held at the mental hospital in order to welcome visitors and show that as in any other hospital, here there is also hope for the full recovery of each patient.
This project has been supported by the President’s Award for Creativity, through the Malta Arts Council.
2016 - TIEGHI (Solo exhibition)
This was an art exhibition focusing on interaction between the public and the artist. In a year and a half I have worked in different locations where members of the public were asked to complete unfinished copies of my work. From these paintings I finished my own, basing my ideas directly on those drawn by the public. Both sets of paintings were on show for an interesting comparison.
The title 'TIEGHI' (mine) in Maltese refers to the concept of ownership of the ideas in each work of art, which is shared amongst all participants in this exhibition.
Locations in Malta where events were held:
Mount Carmel Hospital, Attard
St. Vincent de Paul residence, Marsa
VGB art shop, Valletta
ITS - Institute of Tourism Studies, St Julian's
St. Anne square, Sliema
Final Exhibition - The Malta Maritime Museum, Birgu
2011 - Painting Diaries (Solo exhibition)
The common sense rules of the "real world" are a fragile collection of socially reinforced illusions.
This exhibition has been supported by the President's Prize for Creativity scheme of 2011 - 'Il-Premju tal-President ghall-Kreattivita'.