NORBERT FRANCIS ATTARD is renowned for his poetic and varied approaches to artistic projects. He deliberately combines social, cultural, political, scientific and religious themes with a bold arrangement of unorthodox diverse materials. His works are always meticulously constructed with an architect’s disciplined eye for detail. This approach is designed to express ideas or emotions in a style more concentrated, imaginative and powerful than possible in that of the ordinary.
He works out of his studio that is based on the nearby Mediterranean island of Gozo. Malta has been central to the history of the ancient world and, as a result, is a blending of cultures and languages with strong religious and historic influences. Out of this has come an independent and fiercely proud nation. This parallels the man and artist, Norbert Francis Attard. He is a sponge. Soaking up knowledge so diverse that his artistic expressions hardly seem to relate at all; and yet they do.
His formal training was in the field of Architecture, practicing his profession for twenty years until 1996. During this time, apart from being a painter, he also created limited edition prints, designed posters and was commissioned to design government-issued postage stamps before he turned to installation art in 1998. He is now applying his architectural skills and sensibilities to creating multi-media works which are usually site-specific and often ephemeral in nature. He employs several disciplines including architecture, sculpture, video and photography. Blurring the boundaries of these disciplines is his primary interest.
Fundamental to his work is the incorporation of the physical site. Its interrelatedness with his vision challenges the application of all of his skills. A problem-solver by nature, he combines artistic elements with intense personal themes. A real connection to real conditions, be they visual, historical or social. Giving new meaning to a particular site by manipulating the environment, introducing new elements, including the participation and intervention of the public, to change or redirect the viewer’s perception. His work is multi-layered causing shifts of meaning, a displacement of signs and symbols that create unsettling tension. Bold poetic use of irony, duality, dichotomy and ambivalence combining every-day objects has become readily recognizable in his work.
Born in 1951 in Malta. Based on the island of Gozo, Malta.
Graduated in Architecture from the University of Malta.
Practiced his profession as architect.
After 30 years of being a painter and graphic artist he turned to creating multi-disciplinary works.
His works incorporate several disciplines including sculpture, architecture, video and photography.
Committee member of the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts.
Director of GOZO contemporary, an art space offering artist’s residencies on the island of Gozo.
Represented Malta at the 48th Venice Biennale, Italy.
Created many site-specific installations in several countries and has participated in many
collective international exhibitions in Scotland, England, Cuba, Austria, Italy, Spain, Germany,
Liechtenstein, Turkey, Greece, South Korea, Australia, U.S.A., and Taiwan.
SELECTED WORKS SHOWN AT
2005 Artists against Sedition Laws, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia.
2005 Art’s Diary: Intervene, Taipei Artists Village, Taipei, Taiwan.
2005 Obsession, The International Video Festival, Galerie X, Istanbul, Turkey.
2005 The Exhausted Body, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
2005 Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena, John David Mooney Foundation, Chicago, U.S.A.
2005 Casoria Museum of Contemporary Art, Naples, Italy.
2004 K.A.I.R., Kamiyama, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan.
2004 ART Expo, Mexico 04, Solaris / Observatorio, Michoacan, Mexico.
2004 ARTiade, Visual Arts of the Olympics, Athens, Greece.
2004 Nomadifesta, Kastelliotissa, Nicosia, Cyprus.
2003 Macedonia Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece.
2003 8th Havana Biennale, Cuba.
2003 Post-Civilisation, Kaohsiung International Container Festival, Kaohsiung,Taiwan.
2003 Palestrina and Hell, Johanniterkirche, Feldkirch, Austria.
2003 Intervention I, Manningham Mills, Bradford, England, UK..
2002 Edinburgh International Arts Festival, Scotland, UK.
2002 2nd Liverpool Biennale, England, UK.
2001 The Floating Land, International Site Specific Art Laboratory, Noosa, Queensland, Australia.
2000 Edinburgh City Art Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland.
1999 48th Venice Biennale, Italy.
1999 Diaspora, International Art Meeting, Oviedo, Spain.
1999 2nd Florence Biennale, Italy.
1998 Breath, International Art Symposium, Chonju, South Korea.
1998 Transkutan, Olympia Park, Munich, Germany.
1998 XIX Biennale of Alexandria, Egypt.