Distinctive flower paintings

Engineering graduate and interior design enthusiast turns flower artist. Julia Borg feels the Mediterranean has not only become her home, but it is also central to her artistic production and offers her plenty of inspiration.
Artist Julia Borg

Born in Germany to Russian parents, Julia Borg has made Malta her home. An engineering graduate, whose career also saw her use her artistic flair in interior design while living and working in Moscow, she then made the bold decision to embark on a new journey, fuelled by the need for a change.

Borg moved to Malta for a year to take a break and learn English, and her fate was decided. She is now exhibiting her paintings in her first solo exhibition at The Phoenicia Malta’s Palm Court Lounge.

Since she settled in Malta, Borg has dedicated herself to honing her craft. Having studied art at different stages of life, she then started focussing more on painting when she decided to take up what was her true passion.

In doing so, she changed the course of her life and, subsequently, her career. Borg has never looked back since, bringing with her, her own background of landscapes and floral works, which have become a vibrant celebration of cultural fusions.

She feels the Mediterranean has not only become her home, but is also central to her artistic production and offers her plenty of inspiration. The vibrant hues of the Maltese Islands are directly reflected in her work, as is amply seen in her palette choice.

In her exhibition, In Bloom, Borg is displaying a collection of paintings that was executed in 2023, when she started planning her first solo show. The collection stems from experiments she undertook during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Viewers will be immersed in these paintings of larger-than-life blooms, masterfully brought to life by the painter. They take the beauty of flowers as their starting point, which is then examined and executed in an idiosyncratic, semi-abstract way.

The flowers are also “blown up” to a very large scale, Borg’s aim being for her viewers to revel in the splendour of the colour of these oversized flowers.

Borg is inviting viewers to see the world through her eyes. Each canvas serves as a testament to her reverence for “the beauty in simplicity”; where, in this case, a dainty flower commands our presence.

These paintings, executed in mixed media, are, in fact, “like a tapestry of vibrant hues” and broad brushstrokes, with a fresh, bold style that makes up the petals and stems, and a broad palette composed of a kaleidoscope of colours, although predominantly purples and pinks. Paint is applied in layers and often in impasto to create more texture and interest to the work.

“Through my paintings, I seek to capture the beauty and the essence of joy and wonder that blooms within every petal, inviting viewers to embrace the beauty that surrounds them,” Borg says.

But there is more to the exhibition than just the beauty of flowers. For her, these are a symbol of womanhood and of maternity, which is very personal to her own experience.

A flower is often seen as a delicate object, yet it is resilient; in nature, a flower has its life span, and it blooms when in its prime.

“This exhibition is a testament to the power of creativity and the boundless possibilities that arise when we dare to pursue our passions,” Borg said.

To Borg, “blooming” holds deliberate significance, symbolising the blossoming that occurs when “love, equilibrium and happiness converge”. This is “the essence” of what to her is “being a woman”.

Just last March, Borg represented her country, Russia, in an international art exhibition, organised every year by Art Connects Women in Dubia, which is in its seventh edition. Held under the patronage of UNESCO and organised by ZeeArts Gallery, with more than 100 female participants from different countries, its aim was to celebrate International Women’s Day.

In Bloom is curated by Dr Charlene Vella and will be open throughout the month of April.

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