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MELANIE ERIXON

Founder - Art Sweven

I dreamt of setting up and running an art gallery for quite a while. Although I furthered my studies to be in a position to do so, I never found the time, opportunity and courage to actually start one. Then, two years ago, I came across the word SWEVEN (dream) and decided that this would one day be the name of my very own gallery space. The outbreak of the pandemic allowed me more time with my own thoughts and I began working on an online gallery space. Encouraged by this, my friend Antoine Farrugia provided the perfect physical location to host exhibitions to complement my website; the first floor of one of my favourite haunts, ‘The New Life Bar’, in the quaint village of Mqabba, which we aptly named ‘il-Kamra ta’ Fuq’ – ‘The Room Upstairs.’

 

I have successfully managed this fast-paced gallery for almost a year now. In the course of my work, I have also built a network of artists and clients to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships and partnerships.

My background

I received my Bachelor's (Hons) Degree in the History of Art from the University of Malta; a course which gave me a proper understanding of the past whilst setting me up to understand the contemporary. I furthered my studies by reading for a Master's Degree in Museum & Heritage Management (Newcastle).  I have also successfully completed two courses with Sotheby's Art Institute namely ‘Running a Contemporary Art Gallery’ and ‘The Practices of Exhibition Curation.’

For 2 successive editions, I was part of the Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale Team, where I coordinated the Events Calendar and assisted the leading curator of both biennales under the artistic direction of Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci. I was also the producer and presenter of the Biennale Radio Show ‘Culture Vulture’ aired on Campus FM. Following this, I produced and presented another radio show series under the auspices of the History of Art Department of the University of Malta titled ‘Savoir Faire’ where I delved into design, another of my passions.

 

I served as an art gallery intern at Studio 104 (subsequently renamed Desko) in Valletta, under the amazing Michelle Morrissey - a woman who truly inspired me and whom I miss working with. We organized some interesting exhibitions where the practical experience gained running an art gallery allowed me to understand the nuances behind working as a conduit between artist and collector.

 

Between 2015 to 2018, I was the coordinator of the ‘Strada Stretta Concept’ under the artistic direction of Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci. This project was run under the auspices of the Valletta 2018 Foundation where I was in charge of around 90 cultural events ranging from opera and theatre performances, fashion shows, concerts, poetry evenings, lectures and art exhibitions. Many of these events had an international flavour and I also had to liaise with Embassies represented in Malta. This was an amazing experience that enhanced my professional network in the cultural sector immensely.

I am currently working as an independent art curator at ArtSweven and the gallerist for ‘ il-Kamra ta Fuq’. My present career choice is a passion as much as a vocation to the extent that most of my overseas travel is linked to visiting major art exhibitions around Europe. I have long realised that no amount of studying can make up for passion and my continued education is to surround myself with art by visiting museums, galleries and exhibitions.

 

I must also admit to having an unabashed adoration for collecting artworks as I build my very own personal art collection focusing on contemporary artists living on the Maltese Islands. And, to conclude, I can’t live without my daily dose of art, books and a good glass of wine.