Click, click, bang, bang!
Dear photographers, we truly owe you an apology. This review was supposed to be published in January but got lost in the vast archives and forgotten for a bit. Luckily, Mal has re-discovered it last night and here you go – an excellent report from photography event is now online for your enjoyment! Please excuse the slight delay!
TEN GREEN BOTTLES AND AN EXHIBITION
Every time we write about our photographer friend – Kevin Casha – it is because he is having an exhibition. And on each occasion in our reviews, we mention food (see HERE and HERE). Perhaps our minds are acting funny and link those things together: the photography and the food. But perhaps there is a good reason for it. Anybody who is taking photography seriously will tell you a simple truth: you run around with heavy gear all day long, you deal with demanding people, you edit at nights. You consider yourself lucky, if you have time to grab a burger and a cup of coffee. It is no surprise that you start to appreciate what’s on your plate when you have a day off and time to do some cooking! Also this industry (or art in general) doesn’t pay well, so we are all starving artists in a sort of way.
Those who know us and Kevin will agree, that all three of us hold culinary arts in high esteem. You may wonder what is the point of this longish and (pseudo) philosophical entrée. If you got to this point you have already guessed that Kevin had a new exhibition and that food was involved. But this time it was no finger food but luxurious sweets, chocolates and exquisite wine. All thanks to a venue called Ten Green Bottles.
Ten Green Bottles have not been chosen by accident. Named after popular children song, this retail outlet specialize in affordable wines from all over the globe . They also offer many local and international spirits, including a good selection of single-malt Scotch Whiskey. But TGB is not only known for their ability to satisfy the most fastidious and particular customers. The venue has 650 m2 of beautifully decorated storage/exhibition space that can be used for tutored wine tastings, media launches, corporate and artistic events. Located in Zebbug, on Mdina Road, the place is easily accessible by car and public transport. Combination of all of the above, make Ten Green Bottle a perfect spot for entertainment. Since we have missed the opening night, we decided to visit Ten Green Bottles on our own on 29th of December and see everything for ourselves. In short – we loved the art, the store, the wine and the food to bits. And especially The Very Sexy Shiraz – exclusive drink from a place called Darling in South Africa (we bought a bottle for a friend who was really delighted!)
If you’d like to visit, 10 Green Bottles are opened every single day between 10:00 am and 19:30 on weekdays and between 9:30 and 13:30 on Saturdays. Their official Facebook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/TenGreenBottlesMalta
You can also find more information about Very Sexy Shiraz here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Very-Sexy-Shiraz/6787307772
The most delicious food and the drinks, however, were nothing in comparison to the photographic celebration entitled “Transitions” that was the main reason of our visit. Advertised as “Voyeurism through different perspectives”, this collaborative exhibition by Kevin Casha & Ali Bosios was opened on 11th of December 2013 and lasted until the first days of January 2013. We were probably some of the last people to see it but it made a huge impression on us. Mal considers it to be one of the highlights of 2012 among photographic events. Kevin Casha and Ali Bosios are skilled artists and nobody needs to be convinced about their use of cameras and lenses. However, Transitions, was something more than just official display of talent. Kevin was returning to the roots of his trade and looked for the elements that made him interested in taking pictures in the first place. Ali – who begins her artistic journey – just had her baptism of fire.
Kevin can put many titles next to his name: multi award winning photographer, Malta Photographic Society’s (MPS) Photographer of the Year (1986, 1991, 1993, 1994) and Malta Institute of Professional Photography’s (MIPP) first Photographer of the Year in 2004, president of MIPP. One of the most awarded photographers in Maltase history. Teacher and artist. He has trained hundreds of aspiring photographers and students, helped organized countless events, exhibitions and seminars – we could write books about him and there still would be much to tell. Kevin Casha is a true legend and one of the pillars of Maltase professional photography. Having a chance to see his works in real life is a privilege and we enjoy each opportunity. This time, Kevin’s pictures were stripped to minimum, to their bare core. Forget about years of experience and tricks you know. Put away the expensive cameras and lenses, say no to the digital image processing. The only things you could see in the frame were the raw emotions and black and white palette.
It is not easily to return to your roots, but Kevin once again was successful. His images were perfect in each detail, yet they were very simple at the same time. Looking at them you got the impression, they formed a part of news article or larger series of pictures from event coverage. They touched on different topics: social issues, every day activities and street life. The simplicity was their biggest strength – they were powerful shots of modern society we have created and that we live in. Use of only two colours did not limit the influence the pictures had on the viewer, they told a story and the message was crystal clear. We only wish it have been easier to photograph the frames – the sunshine coming from outside was almost blinding and the sunrays and reflections are sadly visible on our shots. Mal has tried her best, but it was impossible to win with Mediterranean sun!
Alixandra Bosios aka Ali, is one of the most intriguing and immensely talented young photographers on the island. Born in 1987, Ali showed an interest in photography at the tender age of 5, when she discovered an old SLR camera. For the next several years, she would constantly borrow her parents’ equipment to experiment and learn, proving that her love for pictures was not just a child’s play. Miss Bosios is currently a fine art student at MCAST Institute of Art & Design specializing in nude portraits and artistic photography. The creative traits run deep in her family and Ali is following the footsteps of her great grandfather, Professor Giuseppe Briffa (1901 -1988), a prominent Maltese artist whose paintings are decorating numerous churches on the Island and Gozo.
It is hard to believe that Ali started exhibiting her works just three years ago. However, in such a short period of time, she managed to secure several domestic exhibits and two international ones. Her first professional show was at Soul Source Festival in Floriana where she displayed her 7 Deadly Sins pictures for Sinful Clowns Collection. In 2012, Ali showed Gas Mask Collection at Monte Kristo Estates (www.montekristo.com) and it proved to be an instant success. The photographs portraying the contrast between soft human skin and the harshness of the masks were so popular, that Ali received invitation to art gallery in Paris. “Transitions” was the first opportunity for Ali to showcase her works with one of her teachers from Malta Institute of Professional Photography’s (MIPP) – Kevin Casha. Miss Bosios is a member of MITT and recently received her first qualification (LMIPP). Please keep your eyes wide open, as Ali is going to work during the summer on new series of photographs. The results will be presented to the audience probably in the autumn.
For the exhibition, both artists contributed exactly 11 pictures each, shot only in black and white. All photographs were boarded with identical, simple black frames and hung on the walls in straight lines. Despite differences in topic, Kevin’s bare photojournalism and Ali’s creative fashion were ideally matched. You could move quickly from one panel to the other and the flow of emotions was not disturbed by any sudden change or disruption. Some of the visitors had probably complained about the pictures being too static and slow but we loved the cold sensation emerging from them and the (almost) still-life quality. Faces, poses, silhouettes, hands movement, distant looks – there is a vortex of fierce feelings hidden under the thick layer of mundane existence. It takes the heart of an artist and the observant eye of the photographer to uncover the riches of motionlessness to the public.
If you are curious for more reading, here is a set of links you may want to visit:
The Event – Past Facebook page:
The event review in MIPP newsletter (written by lovely Therese Debono)
Rita and Mal would like to thank to all who made the exhibition possible!
Thank you and see you all soon!