norbert francis attard
Architecture, Conceptual, Installation, Intervention, Mixed Media, Painting, Sculpture, Sound
I have always been interested in ‘place’ and the memory of sites. Perhaps because I was born in an island where the archaeological centres of historical gravity were megalithic ruins, and some of the oldest freestanding sculptural buildings in the world, and perhaps also because I also worked as an architect, I have been acutely conscious of the a-neutrality of topoi/places, our awareness of those spaces, and the changing histories of perception of these places. This includes also my attempt to create balance and harmony through inter-relatedness of contradictory themes. No location is neutral, and our sense of place is always somewhat shaped by past histories and contemporary ideologies. Consequently, audiences as viewers and interlocutors are critical to my work.
All artists are the product of their cultural environments. In my case the key themes may perhaps be traced to my cultural roots in Malta, a Catholic/secular island at the edges of Europe and North Africa. Some of the oppositions are religion(s)/secularism, law versus justice, the relationship between land and sea, polarization of political parties, the attachments to (often ephemeral) things as emotional anchors, inside versus outside, public/private, the separation and opposition of the senses and their fusing through the (Maltese) festa, etc. – in short the exhausting engagement of dualities.