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Images of suffering and resilience

Interior designer and artist Saħħara presented her exhibition, Tethered, with a deep consideration to the full experience of the space, and respect towards the building itself – the Splendid Gallery in Valletta’s Strait Street.
Photos: Saħħara

An impactful and emotive series of images, shot during the worst of the bushfires in Australia at the start of 2020, was the focus of the recent debut photography exhibition by Saħħara at Strait Street’s Splendid Gallery.

This was a time that was also marked by feelings of “disconnection and turmoil” for the artist, who is half Maltese and half Scottish, and was born and raised in Malta until she left at 18.

Saħħara’s collection,Tethered, is “raw in its expression”; exploring narratives of pain, loneliness, the erosion of identity and the shared experiences that ‘tether’ women together in the face of systems that so often contaminate their bonds, she explained.

Through feelings of personal turmoil and disconnect, a new awareness of the significance of the relationships Saħħara held with the women around her, and the safety she found in their presence, led her to “an exploration of the complexity of the roles and dynamics that exist between women”.

Given her career in interior design, this exhibition was presented with a deeper consideration to the full experience of the space, and respect towards the building itself – the Splendid Gallery in Valletta’s Strait Street.

Photographer Saħħara, an artist with a background in interior design.

Considering its history, “it could not have been a better setting” for the artist’s work, she felt.

Through the use of scent, light and sound, Tethered was more of an immersive experience than a photography exhibition.

Saħħara thanked for their courage the woman in the images “without whom this would not be possible”. She said they were not just stories of suffering, but a “testament to our resilience”.

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