Ggantija Project 2013: Ars Vitae Ensemble – Contemporary art and music in dialogue

Ggantija_2013_Project

The passion of two individuals for art and music gave birth to Ars Vitae Ensemble – literally, art is life. Artist, Victor Agius, and composer/musician, Mariella Cassar, have joined forces to intertwine music and art and present a series of events based on contemporary art and music composition fused with cultural, social and historical concepts.

The ensemble will also strive to combine aspects of multiculturalism to its projects and also create educational initiatives through hands-on activities and workshops that involve various sections of the community to attract newcomers to the field of contemporary art and music.

The Ars Vitae Ensemble is currently working on their first collaborative project that will be spread across Malta and Gozo and will use one of our national Heritage treasures as its starting point. Their upcoming project which will be launched in June 2013 with activities going through mid-2014. This project is being curated by Dr.Vince Briffa, a practising contemporary multi-media artist and Head of Department of Digital Art at the University of Malta.

Victor Agius studied at the University of Malta from where he got a degree in Art. He furthered his studies at the International School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture in Perugia, Italy and at the Central Saint Martin’s College for Art and Design in London. Agius has had his works exhibited at the Opus 64 Galerie, St. James Cavalier and the Auberge d’Italie in Malta, and internationally in Lago Maggiore, Venice, Padova and Florence amongst others. He has also participated in several notable group exhibitions held in Oxford and London in the UK, Paris, Santo Domingo and Rome.

Agius works in painting, sculpture and installation. Raw clay, ceramics, stones, straw, twigs and branches, earth, natural pigments, oils and acrylics are some of the elements which Agius uses to create his bodies of work oriented around formless matter.

Mariella Cassar began her studies at a young age in violin and theory under the guidance of Mro.Joachim Atanasov and later under the tuition of Ms.Marcelle Bartolo Abela and Mro. Laurence Borg. She holds a degree in Music Education. In 2005 she was awarded the M.Phil (Music) from the Mediterranean Institute, University of Malta. She decided to further her studies at Dartington College of Arts, UK, where is she currently reading for a PhD in Composition under the tutorship of Dr Christopher Best and Dr Trevor Wiggins.

Her works vary from solo, ensemble to full-orchestra composition. Cassar has been member of jury in a number of international singing festivals. Cassar’s works have been performed in Malta, Manchester, Bristol, Florence, Montepulciano, Austria, Prague and Indonesia.

Keep an eye out for Ars Vitae Ensemble if you are visiting Gozo this June, for more information contact them on arsvitaensemble@gmail.com. You may also find them on Facebook.

Text supplied by: Lorrieann Vella