SARAH MARIA SCICLUNA WINS JAPAN ARTIST RESIDENCY

The winning artist of the Divergent Thinkers exhibition and competition, Sarah Maria Scicluna, was announced at the Malta Maritime Museum.

The exhibition, organised by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ in collaboration with the Valletta 2018 Foundation, features the works of nine young local artists and one Japanese artist. This included Aidan Celeste, Chiara Cassar, David Falzon, Janis Luste, Justine Navarro, Keita Onishi, Lara Manara, Sam Sultana, Sarah Maria Scicluna and Roderick Camilleri.

Sarah Maria Scicluna received the prize of a month-long residency at the Youkobo Art Space in Tokyo, Japan in August 2017. Curator Raphael Vella said, “Divergent Thinkers has established itself as the main platform for emerging artists in Malta. It encourages innovative thinking and artistic projects, focuses on the actual processes of artistic creation, and commissions new work from the selected participants.”

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Valletta 2018 Foundation Chairman Jason Micallef said, “The Divergent Thinkers exhibition gives young artists a new professional experience. This is happening at a very important time when the Valletta 2018 programme is being consolidated, building on a lasting legacy.”

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Aġenzija Żgħażagħ CEO Miriam Thuema also commented, “Divergent Thinkers is all about enabling young artists through the provision of opportunities and spaces to present their spontaneity, concepts and artistic thoughts. This year, this space will widen and spread to Japan, where for a whole month, the winning artist will benefit from a month’s residency in Tokyo and immersion in an artistic and cultural environment that will surely expand and enrich future artistic endeavours.”
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Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport Chris Agius noted, “It is a source of pride for my secretariat that funding reserved for projects like Divergent Thinkers continue to foster the imaginative creativity of young people, and in turn serve not only to launch the artistic careers of young people, but also to harness creativity to come up with solutions to problems that go beyond the artistic sphere.”

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The project challenges young artists to take on the notion of divergent thinking by exhibiting drawings, photographs, objects and other material to show how creative problems can be resolved in different and unusual ways. This year, artists had to produce works under the theme of NAVIGATE.

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The Divergent Thinkers exhibition is set to attract a total of 1500 people during its running, which is ongoing at the Malta Maritime Museum until the 20th November. Some of the works from the exhibition will also be showcased during the European Youth Conference in March 2017 as part of the EU Presidency programme.

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Divergent Thinkers is organised by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ in collaboration with the Valletta 2018 Foundation, with the support of the Malta Maritime Museum, the EU Japan Fest and Japan Media Arts Festival.