Window On The World
14 March 2022
About The Project
White means something different to various people. It means something in particular to all of us. The project BJUDA is an interdisciplinary and synesthesiac project that explores this colour and its hues in relation to its absence. It ties in together the different phases of our lives – from childhood to death putting youth in the midst – through bilingual poetry, photography and music.
The three main artists who came together for this project are Leanne Ellul, a writer of stories for children and for adults, and also poetry, Giola Cassar, an experienced photographic artist who exhibited her work both in Malta and abroad, and Kenneth Sacco, a musician and composer who will be sharing his music for the first time ever. The poems have been translated to English by Albert Gatt. After months of research and exploration of the concept of whiteness, together with a workshop for youths, the project by these three artists reached its peak through an interactive exhibition curated by Elyse Tonna and a book with a different format than usual designed by Zvezdan Reljić.
The exhibition and the book itself are indeed an invitation to the audience to be part of this whiteness.
This project was financed by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ on their 10th year anniversary.
About The Team
Elyse Tonna is a curator, interdisciplinary architect and cultural manager based in Malta. Her curatorial practice focuses on contemporary art and bridges aspects related to offsites, living heritage, public space and communities. As an independent curator, she developed, produced and curated/co-curated in Dialogue (2022), bjuda (2022), rajt ma rajtx ... naf li rajt (2021), fuse (2021), SURA (2021), ħożż ilħsejjes (2019), in between (2018) and Human Matter (2017), among others. She produced projects such as Constellation Malta (2018) and Baħħ Blu (2018), two major visual arts projects by the Valletta 2018 Foundation forming part of the official programme of the European Capital City of Culture 2018 (Valletta). Since 2020, she has been appointed the Curator and Co-Creative Director of the Gabriel Caruana Foundation where she curates ongoing exhibitions related to the SPRING programme for Emerging Artists and the Gabriel Caruana Foundation/The Mill Archives, among others.
Leanne Ellul writes poetry and prose and has published works for both adults and children. She was named Best Emerging Author in the 2016 National Book Prize, and her works for children have garnered various Terramaxka awards. L-Inventarju tal-Kamra l-Kaħla, her first poetry collection, was published in 2020. Her latest published work is Bjuda, the fruit of an interdisciplinary project centered around the colour white. Ellul lectures in Maltese language and literature and is active in Inizjamed and HELA Foundation, two NGOs that have Maltese language and culture at their core.
Giola Cassar’s work involves explorations about the human condition, continually questioning who we are to ourselves and to others, using different visual approaches to represent these concerns. Photography is her main medium, while also making use of the moving image when the need arises. In 2019 she published a photobook, Tessie, in collaboration with writer Glen Calleja. Cassar’s latest project was ‘Bjuda’, an interdisciplinary publication and exhibition with Leanne Ellul and Kenneth Sacco. Cassar hold a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Photography from the University for the Creative Arts, UK and an MA in Photography, from the University of Brighton, UK. Throughout the past years she has exhibited and published her work in Malta, London, Brussels, Brighton, and China.
Kenneth Sacco has been studying both guitar theory and practice since the age of 13. He studied under the tuition of Franco Tartaglia at the Ministry of Music and Marc Galea and is currently in Grade 6. Sacco mainly plays the electric guitar, but he also uses acoustic guitars, bass guitars, pianos and synthesizers, and implements the use of effects pedals to create melodic soundscapes. His style of music varies from indie to blues rock, from ambient to post-rock; the latter being quite a new genre that is finding its way in the local music scene. In February 2022, along with Leanne Ellul and Giola Cassar, Sacco launched the BJUDA project, which merged poetry, photography and music into one experience. Sacco has also been part of different bands and has played as part of a duo/trio. He has been part of a number of literary events where he backed authors with music during their readings.