Mediterranean Synergies. The Art of Aurelio and Simone Talpa: 23 June – 1 September 2024

Il-Ħaġar Museum is proud to host a new temporary exhibition Mediterranean Synergies. The Art of Aurelio and Simone Talpa which consists of ceramic works and paintings with a mythological theme by Aurelio Talpa and abstract geometric paintings by his son Simone. There will be sixty works in all, thirty-eight by Aurelio and twenty-two by Simone. This exhibition is being held in collaboration with the 27th edition of the Victoria International Arts Festival and is supported by the Leader Programme of the Gozo Action Group Foundation.

The exhibition will be inaugurated by the Hon. Clint Camilleri, Minister for Gozo and Planning, on Sunday 23 June 2024, at 11.45 a.m. and will remain open until Sunday 1 September 2024.

R.S.V.P: events@heartofgozo.org.mt

About the artists:

Aurelio Talpa was born in Caivano, Naples, in 1959.  In 1978 he graduated from the Art Institute in San Leucio, Caserta and in 1987 he completed his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples (in painting) under the guidance of Domenico Spinosa.  He currently teaches painting at the public school Liceo Artistico G. De Chirico at Torre Annunziata, Naples.                                      

Simone Talpa was born in Torre del Greco, Naples, in 1995.  In 2023 he graduated in the Visual Arts and Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples. His artistic research derives and evolves from a personal interest in Eastern philosophies. He has sought to apply what he has learned to his artistic practice. By using “poor” earthy materials, such as the jute and charcoal, he tries to overcome the contradiction between opposing entities. Consequently, his works present an interchange between fullness and emptiness, finished and unfinished, figurative and abstract. One observes geometric lines and shapes, fluid and rigid elements, open and closed elements.

Other acknowledgements: Gozo Regional Development Authority, Cultural Heritage Directorate – Ministry for Gozo & Planning, VisitGozo.com, Events in Gozo, Culture18fineart, CVC media, Malta Tourism Authority, Visit Malta.

Relations with a Superpower: Malta and the United States of America

Il-Ħaġar Museum continues with its series of Saturday lectures on 4 May 2024 at 11:00 with what promises to be an interesting talk by Dr George Vital Zammit who will be touching on some salient points in the history of Malta’s relations with the United States of America.
 
Dr George Vital Zammit is a Senior lecturer at the Department of Public Policy within the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy (FEMA), University of Malta. He read for Bachelor Degrees in Business and Computing, Management, and a Masters in Diplomatic Studies. In 2011 he obtained a doctorate in Politics at the University of Sheffield, with a thesis on the international dimension of party groups within the European Parliament. Prior to academia, Dr Zammit served as a public officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry for Education, and the Office of the Prime Minister. He served as Head of Department (Public Policy) and Deputy Dean of FEMA. In 2019, he was Fulbright Scholar (2019) at Rutgers University, USA.
 

Admission to the Museum is free.
Seat reservations are recommended by sending an email to events@heartofgozo.org.mt.

The Giuseppe Galea Collection on Display at Il-Ħaġar

Il-Ħaġar Museum is delighted to present a new temporary exhibition which will showcase for the first time a collection of designs prepared by one of Malta’s finest decorators, Giuseppe Galea, for Gozo’s Saint George’s Basilica.  Many of these designs have been donated to the Museum by the artist’s family, while others were acquired through sponsorship by Lombard Bank.  Galea studied art in Rome between 1933 and 1938, where he forged a deep friendship with Maltese master sculptor Antonio Sciortino under whose tutelage he studied life drawing. 

The Giuseppe Galea Collection will be inaugurated on Saturday 27 April 2024 at 19:30,by the Hon. Clint Camilleri, Minister for Gozo and Planning.

To attend the official opening, kindly RSVP at your earliest by emailing: events@heartofgozo.org.mt.

The exhibition can be visited until Sunday 16 June 2024 during the museum opening hours of 09:00 to 17:00.  Admission to Il-Ħaġar Museum is free.

Raiders and Rebels in Medieval Gozo

On Saturday 13 April 2024 at 11:00, in collaboration with the Gozo University Group (GUG), Il-Ħaġar Museum will be hosting Mr Charles Dalli who will be delivering a talk titled 𝑹𝒂𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑹𝒆𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝑴𝒆𝒅𝒊𝒆𝒗𝒂𝒍 𝑮𝒐𝒛𝒐. This will form part of the Gozo Week events.

Particular historical episodes in 14th and 15th century Gozo shed light on acts of rebellion with repercussions well beyond the island’s shores. Raiders imperilled and destabilised the island’s social continuity. Were the Kings of Sicily well informed about goings on in Gozo? How did the island fare under its feudal lords? Did Malta protect Gozo? Enough information survives to allow the historian to ask these questions and attempt to answer them.

Admission to the Museum is free.
Seat reservations are recommended by sending an email to events@heartofgozo.org.mt.

Unknown Prescription: Meet the Artist Charles Balzan

As the current contemporary exhibition Unknown Prescription comes to an end (open until Sunday 14 April 2024), Il-Ħaġar Museum offers art lovers the opportunity to meet one of the three Maltese artists, Charles Balzan, who will walk them through his part in the exhibition.  Unknown Prescription: Meet the Artist Charles Balzan is scheduled for Saturday 6 April 2024 at 11:00 at the Museum.  

This is an occasion for the audience to have a more genuine encounter with the artist before the closure of this contemporary exhibition.  Balzan’s latest endeavour of blackening stones with soot and then printing onto them is reminiscent of destruction and loss but also of creativity and meaning.  The breaking up of the bodies into fragments placed strategically around the Museum cannot but invite the visitor to ponder the continuum extending between life and the possibility of an afterlife, with death as its fulcrum.

Entrance to the Museum is free. 

Reservations for the event is recommended by emailing: events@heartofgozo.org.mt

The Iconic Statue of San Ġorġ tal-Ħaġar Moved to Il-Ħaġar Museum

On Thursday 7 March 2024 the historic stone statue of San Ġorġ tal-Ħaġar was moved from its location in front of the sanctuary of Our Lady of Pompei on Dr Anton Tabone Street, Victoria, where it has stood since the 1920s, to the Museum, where it will now be on permanent display.  The relocation of the statue held all the necessary Planning Authority clearance, and the entire process was monitored by officials from the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. A replica will hold its place and will feature prominently in the façade of the new building.  The Museum has engaged a high-powered team of experts in their respective fields to ensure the best outcome for this project. The widespread interest generated by this ongoing project evidences the value and appeal of this landmark statue, which is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, roadside statues in Gozo.

The statue was originally created for the corner of Saint George’s Street and Library Street in Victoria, but was replaced in 1925 with a larger one by Ġużeppi Agius.  An early 20th century aquarelle by Edward Caruana Dingli, now housed at MUŻA, the National Museum of Arts, in Valletta, depicts this landmark statue still in that corner.  The attribution of the toponym San Ġorġ tal-Ħaġar to the statue reflects transferal of the toponym of the church of Saint George (San Ġorġ ‘tal-Ħaġar’, therefore, ‘of the town’) to a statue that out of town led up to the church on the same street (it-triq ta’ San Ġorġ tal-Ħaġar).

The Ice Way – Alessandro Bergamini

Saturday 23 March 2024 is a special day for Il-Ħaġar Museum. In the morning at 11.00 at the Museum, artist Austin Camilleri together with photographer Alessandro Bergamini, Valerio Ballotta (GBK Malta / Culture18fineart) and Bruno Cavani (Ikos) will present The Ice Way photobook. The book is a visual narration of the expedition undertaken by the group in the region of Ladakh (in the Indian Himalaya) in order to reach the village of Karsha and its Buddhist monastery.
 
Fine art, culture, and good cuisine then come together in the afternoon of the same day at 17:00, when an exhibition of Bergamini’s photographs forming part of his award-winning project Humanity as well as of two other special projects will be launched at the restaurant Osteria Scottadito in Nadur. The same occasion will serve as the inauguration of this new restaurant.
 
Both these events will be held in conjunction with the Malta Biennale Art 2024.
 
Entrance to the Museum is free. Reservations for both events are recommended by emailing: events@heartofgozo.org.mt

The Way of the Cross

The public is encouraged to visit Il-Ħaġar Museum at the heart of Victoria, Gozo, to see the local handcrafted figurines (pasturi) exhibited in the typical Good Friday procession in celebration of the current religious Lent period.  Parishioner Mr Carmel Farrugia from Victoria is the creator of this curious exhibit at Il-Ħaġar portraying scenes from the Via Crucis.  One has to appreciate the attention he has devoted to detail especially when considering that he is handling miniature-sized clay statuettes.  Something naïve-like, unaffected, and unsophisticated emerges from the end result of his pasturi.  Mr Farrugia has patiently laid out this three-dimensional representation of the local society where religion still weaves itself around other threads forming the fabric of Gozitan life.

The Spanish Flu (1918 – 1919): The Malta – GOZO Experience

Four years ago exactly to this month the Maltese population had to face the first case of Covid-19 on the island. Continuing on the theme of pandemic diseases, Il-Ħaġar Museum will be presenting a historical lecture by Dr Mario Saliba on Saturday 16 March 2024 at 11:00 by the title The Spanish Flu (1918-1919): The Malta – GOZO Experience.  This time the lecture will delve into the medical sphere of the history of the Maltese islands, recounting the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic with specific attention to its spread in Gozo. The audience will have their morbid curiosity satisfied since the lecture will also hint at the other infectious diseases common at the time. Dr Mario Saliba will be referring to original historical documents about the pandemic.

The lecture will be in English.
 

Entrance to the Museum is free but seat reservations are recommended by emailing: events@heartofgozo.org.mt.

Lent to Easter – Gozo Philatelic Society

The Gozo Philatelic Society has prepared yet another exhibition titled Lent to Easter. This will be hosted by Il-Ħaġar Museum from Thursday 29 February 2024 until Monday 8 April 2024 at Level -1. Visitors can admire a variety of stamps portraying scenes ranging from Lent processions to Easter celebrations. The Museum’s opening hours are Monday to Sunday, 9:00-17:00. Entrance is free.