Duo exhibition at Malta Society of Arts

Visual artists Doranne Alden and Paul Caruana have pooled forces for Passage of Light.
Glorious Sunsets, by Doranne Alden.

Visual artists Doranne Alden and Paul Caruana have pooled forces and talents to present their works in a joint exhibition at the Malta Society of Arts (MSA) in Valletta. The showcase will feature around 40 watercolour paintings, each a personal journey into the world of light and its myriad interpretations, by two people who share a multitude of artistic affinities. 

Alden and Caruana’s journey as collaborators began when they met two years ago in Valletta while searching for a venue to exhibit their works. Their initial encounter was marked by difficulties caused by the face masks everyone had to wear at the time of the pandemic, yet their immediate connection and mutual admiration for each other’s work led to this collaboration. 

The theme of the exhibition, Passage of Light, represents their common passion for capturing the effects of light. Alden and Caruana also share an unwavering love for watercolour as their chosen medium of expression due to its unique ability to capture the nuances of light. However, their artworks transcend the mere depiction of light and shadow. 

Caruana’s interpretation of the theme of ‘light’ goes beyond the mere visual. Through his works, he communicates the way he perceives life, exploring his unique perspective on existence. Caruana elucidates, “By light, I also mean the way I look at life, sometimes taking life ‘lightly’ too. I often start with a simple doodle, allowing my creative process to evolve organically.” The result is a collection of works that carries the essence of the moment, whether inspired by observations or by life itself. He believes that this exhibition is a profound exploration of not only visual light but also the metaphysical and emotional light that illuminates the two artists’ perspectives. 

Not So Silly, by Paul Caruana.

While drawn to the freedom granted by watercolour and its expressive effect when it comes to capturing light, Alden is aware of the medium’s inherent unforgiving nature, and uses this limitation as an avenue to explore new horizons. Alden’s watercolours are characterised by their vibrant colours and a distinct signature style. “I use my photography as my sketchbook and I go out to paint en Plein Air to truly capture a moment in time, to connect with my subject”, she reveals. “Before I start painting, I usually know where my work should take me and concentrate on expressing that moment or feeling.”

As curator of the exhibition, Marika Azzopardi states, “The works have been specifically selected to highlight the chosen theme of ‘light’. A walk-through around the galleries will provide a visual experience that takes the viewer back to specific moments in time, to memories of scenic locations and local traditions, and to feast our eyes on the varied atmospheric innuendos of these Mediterranean islands.”

“The joint exhibition marks the first time these two artists are showcasing their works together, adding an exciting dimension to their artistic journey”, says MSA President, Arch. Adrian Mamo enthusiastically. “The Malta Society of Arts has played a pivotal role in realising this partnership, and we eagerly anticipate Paul Caruana and Doranne Alden’s creations to grace the walls of our galleries, juxtaposed and harmonised.”

Passage of Light is an exhibition of around 40 watercolour works by Paul Caruana and Doranne Alden, curated by Marika Azzopardi. The show can be visited at the Malta Society of Arts’ Palazzo de La Salle, 219, Republic Street, Valletta, from 13 October until 2 November 2023. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm, and Saturdays 9am to 1pm. Entrance is free. For more details about the exhibition please visit www.artsmalta.org or www.facebook.com/maltasocietyofarts

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