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Artists from Kitchen Studios take over GEMA gallery

Pics: Johnny Bugeja

A group of artists from Kitchen Studios are displaying their installation pieces, digital art, sculptures and paintings in the Gibraltar Exhibitions of Modern Art Gallery (GEMA) in Montagu Bastion.

The exhibition will be open on weekdays until December 23 and features an interactive clay carving experience for those who attend.

Lizanne Figueras and Ermelinda Duarte from Kitchen Studios spoke to the Chronicle about the new interactive exhibition.

By Gabriella Peralta

The GEMA Gallery has been taken over for the month of December, featuring 37 pieces from 17 local artists with some inspired by Covid-19.

The impromptu exhibition was organised in under two weeks and even encourages the public to get involved in the art.

Clay sculptor Ermelinda Duarte has created individual links in a chain made of clay with the idea being that those visiting the exhibition can create their own patterns on the clay chain links.

Ms Duarte has provided materials for people to create designs on the links and will be collecting the links once the exhibition is over.

After this Ms Duarte will join the links into a chain and fire them. She hopes to exhibit it on a later date.

“We’ve been getting more and more artists every year so I wanted to reproduce that idea three dimensionally and get people to be part of this project,” Ms Duarte said.

“The links represent the individual as they design their own link and make it personal.”

“Then I will join them together to create a chain. It will show strength, diversity, people in the community working together.”

“Especially during these times, it will show what we can produce when we work together.”

Kitchen Studios has also seen many artists join forces in a short time frame to produce the exhibition with artists Naomi Martinez, Alan Perez, Tina Rodriguez, Patrizia Imossi, Thomas Maxwell, Alex Menez, Naomi Duarte, Ella Truman-Davies, Kimberley Bautista, Stefano Blanca Sciacaluga, Skye Montegriffo, Ermelinda Duarte, Charlene Figueras, Aroa Isabella Nuñez, Jupp Jupp Jupp, Lizanne Figueras and Zoe Bishop all exhibiting their works.

The event was organised by Gibraltar Cultural Services together with Kitchen Studios, with Lizanne Figueras taking the helm.

Ms Figueras spoke to the Chronicle about the artists’ works, she described how an installation by Alan Perez had been created for an exchange between Gibraltar and Tarifa artists.

The installation was comprised of a metal bathtub with a video of a chess board covered with wire being dragged by the tides projected into the bathtub.

Ms Duarte has exhibited pieces inspired by Covid-19, one of a reflective mirror and Covid germs and another highlighted how self-isolation and staying at home has made people feel boxed in, particularly those with difficult home environments.

Both Ms Duarte and Aroa Isabella Nuñez have exhibited pieces based on the sensitive topic of abortion.

Patrizia Imossi and Alannah Caines have exhibited their digital art in the form of GIFs. GIFs are a series of images which create an animation often on a loop.

“We use GIFs all the time in social media and it’s such a good platform online,” Ms Figueras said.

She added: “Why not make it part of art, we integrate what we use every day with art which I think is brilliant.”

Ms Figueras submitted her own piece called ‘Communication Breakdown’ featuring cardboard boxes into the shape of television screens, signifying our reliance on TV during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Shredded newspaper, a popcorn bucket, and the words ‘Do this. Do that.’ covered the screens.

The reasoning behind ‘Do this. Do that.’ was to highlight how the public was advised to stay home and adhere to public health guidelines throughout the pandemic.

“It is an ode to all the creative communication that we have been using during Covid,” Ms Figueras said.

She added the piece is about sensory overload and the confusion with Covid.

Ms Figueras commented on all the local talent on show at the exhibition and encourages the public to view the exhibition and support artists by purchasing their works.

A section in the exhibition, coined as the ‘Naomi wall’ sees the artworks of young artist Naomi Duarte and Naomi Martinez, who has previously taken part in an artist exchange in Berlin.

Zoe Bishop has exhibited a video of her dancing, Tina Rodriguez submitted a sculpture, while Alex Menez and Stefano Blanca Sciacaluga have recreated their living room and its view in the GEMA.

Skye Montegriffo is exhibiting her Covid-19 inspired artwork featuring a skeleton and Gibraltar’s banksy Jupp Jupp Jupp has showing his artworks of well-known environmentalists.

Kimberley Bautista is also showcasing her designs, as well as a portrait she created as part of the Frontline Workers Exhibition.

The exhibition will be open until December 23. Opening times are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 11am - 3pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays 11am - 7pm.

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