St. Joseph High Road St. Venera, SVR 1013, Malta

Conditioned Comforts: Emma Fsadni’s Artivisti journey

My Artivisti project was quite a journey both artistically and personally. The lead up to the exhibition consisted of an extended process starting with a term, ‘Conditioned Comforts’ith my creative background being in the visual arts the final outcome materialised in my first solo exhibition at Spazju Kreattiv between the dates 30th July – 5th September.

The lead up to the exhibition consisted of an extended process starting with a term, ‘Conditioned Comforts’
encapsulating a reliance on human-made forms of ‘comfort’; the word human-made is here interpreted in its literal materialistic sense, while also extending the notion of ‘human’ to the ‘self’, something self-made.
The juxtapositional nature of the two words ‘Conditioned’ and ‘Comfort’ together suggests that these familiar forms of ease are acquired through repetition making them un-innate, leading to question; if the pursuit of such comfort has to be produced or learnt, then just how comforting is it to our lives?
This term and concept was discussed and explored in greater detail through open ended interviews with a number of individuals varying in background, age and gender. The intention here was to get individual perspectives and experiences with the theme at hand. This involvement already started to branch my project onto the wider community, for some almost acting as an intervention and others a place for reflection and conversation.

These responses went on to be analysed recognising that it was the interaction and the relationship the comfort fostered, rather than the comfort itself that struck interest, setting the foundation for the final body of work.

The exhibition explored the theme through a formal language of deliberate colour and textures alongside interactive installations, guiding viewers from a space of awareness, through uncertainty and feeling, towards a space of sensitivity to existing energy, while recognising the strength and softness that can come beyond it.

Photo credits: Audrey Rose Mizzi
Source: Spazju Kreattiv Facebook Page

Artivisti’s opportunity allowed me to explore and furthermore materialise a theme which held a lot of personal and social depth alongside the constant reassurance and guidance of mentor Margerita Pule.

The process broadened my conceptual intents and also got me to diversify my artistic identity. It was my first time painting on such a large scale, working with installation, and directed me towards a new style of visual language which I believe will continue to flourish in future projects ahead. The encouragement towards collaboration got me out of my comfort zone, reaching out to the public for thematical research.

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I collaborated with fellow Artivist Gabriel Lia who wrote a poem for each room in the exhibition, adding greater context to the visuals.

I also involved photographer Justine Ellul to document the work ‘UN —‘ having to adapt and work constructively around COVID restrictions

Tailored audio was also created by James Dingli to further stimulate viewers along the exhibition’s path.

The intent for this exhibition was to explore conditioned comforts, an underlying yet relevant theme that is applicable to everyone in one way or another. Although one’s conditioned comfort varies from one individual to the next, its presence, reliance and relationship is consistent in all.

Rather than trying to reject this reality this project ended up being more so focused on creating the awareness around these individualised comforts in order to approach them with a sense of mindfulness — allowing them to serve us rather than be over-exhausted from a place of self sabotage. Based on the feedback gathered till now it seems that the transition between awareness — challenge — rest & reflection seems to have really resonated with the community. It allowed for a digestible approach, which is appreciated when dealing with a slightly more confronting topic.

Photo credits: Audrey Rose Mizzi
Source: Spazju Kreattiv Facebook Page

Emma Fsadni followed the Artivisti programme edition which kicked off in 2019.

Her exhibition at Spazju Kreattiv, St James Cavalier, Valletta, can be visited until the 5th September.

Artivisti is an interdisciplinary artistic programme coming through the collaboration of Agenzija Zghazagh and Arts Council Malta aimed at young artists who wish to create change through art.

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