Some works of art immediately catch the eye. This is definitely the case with the paintings by artist Anastasia Ponyatovskaya Pace, who’s been living in Malta since 2005.
Anastasia, who is of Polish origins, describes her style as being a “colour reverie”, which highlights the use of vibrant colour and allegory, going beyond mere fantasy and into the mythological. Anastasia attended the Academy of Arts in Moldova for five years. In 2004, she joined the Moldova Union of Artists, and participated in more than a hundred art exhibitions in various countries, including Moldova, Russia, Germany, Latvia, the Islands of Malta, and Italy. Her works are also currently exhibited in a number of international museums.
Inspired by tales of the fantastical, myths, legends, and fairytales, Anastasia fell in love with Malta’s rich culture and heritage, and decided to stay. She currently teaches at the Malta School of Arts in Valletta, while painting and enjoying the Maltese lifestyle with her husband and children. Anastasia also accepts commissions for specific works of art by private clients.
How would you describe your style?
From when I was a child, I’ve always been in love with painting. I don’t have a specific methodology, but just work free-hand in order for my mood and the atmosphere around me to come through. I just enjoy the moment. I generally paint when I feel a special spiritual connection to the subject I’m working on, which is why I never decide which colours or palette I’m going to use beforehand. The mixing of the colours is automatic, depending on how I feel during that particular moment.
Is there a particular reason why your paintings give so much importance to light and colour?
Right now, it seems like many artist are reflecting back all the negative gritty everyday issues they come across each day. Politics, international crises, problems and such a dark outlook translate into what, for me, is the use of dull monochrome colours and a tarnished mirror of life. Through my paintings, I wish to show the opposite. This is why the focus is more on a magical and hopeful outlook which comes through with my representation of colours and light. My target is to emphasise feelings of hope and positivity, and to communicate these to my viewers.
Has living in Malta influenced the way you view art?
Malta is truly an inspiration. Its roots are so deeply steeped in its ancient mysterious history, local myths and legends, that I truly feel as though each stone and pebble must be hiding its own story. I feel like it’s my calling as an artist to focus on such concepts of beauty in order to highlight their importance. I’ve found many like-minded individuals and artists locally who perfectly capture the good mood and festive spirit prevalent throughout the Maltese lifestyle.
Where can one admire your paintings locally at present?
Four of my paintings are on display on the first and second floors of the new Parliament building in Valletta. Right now, I’m also taking part in an exhibition with two other artists, Olga Diacenco and Peter Rock. The exhibition is entitled Three Artists – One Space: From Symbolism to Abstraction, and it’s taking place at Il-Ħagar Museum in Saint George Square, Rabat, Gozo, and will be running till the 8th December. Another group exhibition which I’m taking part in is also currently taking place within the Ground Floor of Mater Dei Hospital. This will be running till mid-December. Entrance to these exhibitions is free of charge and everyone is welcome. I think that children in particular would enjoy the display.