The Trees is a series of paintings exploring the human form as transmogrified in trees by the Toronto-born artist Charlene Calleja (k.a Xaxa Calleja). The exhibition will be launched on the 27 September as part of Science in the City and runs until the 11th October at The Splendid, 74 Strait Street, Valletta.
Combining nature with art, the exhibition takes a powerful look into how we give human forms to an object or thing. The artist aims to stimulate her audiences to look beyond the world of everyday objects and be inspired by the world around them to see if they can visualise other forms beyond the surface.
“There is a tendency to want to see our own likeness in the world around us,” said Charlene Calleja. “We like to put a human face on things and relate to them as if they were human. In The Trees, I worked on anthropomorphism in art.” Such anthropomorphism is hard wired within us. Millions of years of evolution have led to huge chunks of our brains dedicated to recognising faces. Our dedication to faces lets us spot loved ones in huge crowds.”
Charlene created this exhibition after she was inspired by trees during one of her walks. She came across a tree and saw figures on its bark. More trees gave her more human shapes and faces from which she created this series of paintings. The Trees exhibition is sponsored by the Malta Arts Fund and will be also open during Notte Bianca. www.xaxacalleja.com for more information.
Science in the City festival forms part of the EU-wide celebration called Researchers’ Night on the 27th September 2013. The festival opens the doors of Valletta for everyone to meet researchers from the University of Malta and artists, and participate in the interactive demonstrations, discussions, workshops and children’s activities.