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by Sarah Calleja

15th July till 15th August 2022

at il-Kamra ta' Fuq

A collection of paintings within the grand harbour

The grand harbour is a testament of our existence as an island and has been used since prehistoric times.


Wherever you stand along its shores there is a great sense of place, one stands and dreams of tales untold. Sarah Calleja’s grandmother’s stories from WW2 and the most awaited convoy of Santa Maria is her earliest nostalgic memory of the grand harbour. It instils a feeling of magic, of identity, of appreciating its present beauty and curiosity about its past.

In her works artist Sarah Calleja has tried to translate this feeling with great simplicity, attempting to capture the aura, the intangible part that is instilled in her.  She chose to work with a restricted palette with some works using only one colour and others using five colours.  Painting only the essence, eliminating most detail, in a mass of colour a sliver of light, often using wisely the white paper.


In this watercolour journey Calleja tries not to restrain the colour but to work with water as part of the medium. Allowing the paint to work in sync with the water. Through many a trial and error, she has selected which pigments to use to have the right strength, and which pigments to use to create exciting water marks, and how they work when placed next to each other. The chemical composition of the pigment allows some colours to travel faster through the water, sometimes breaking up into their constituent colours.  


Working both en plein air and in the studio with this collection of works Calleja feels that she has harboured the sense of place within each painting. 

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Sarah Callea


"It all started when I fell in love with painting, the process, the exhilaration of putting paint to paper and transforming a thought into a painting."


Calleja believes that as an artist the hand is the extension of the brain and with practice, this allows you with many (or few) strokes to create a painting. The finished work is a little insight into the artist's world.


Living in Malta with great weather makes it easy to paint outdoors en plein air, with her favourite medium being watercolour, to try to capture the Mediterranean aura. From seascapes, landscapes, trees and urban scenes, the medium allows for speed and layering which are both a match to her fast painting tempo. In the studio, she uses a variety of mediums including acrylics, inks, watercolour, charcoal, oil and pigments.

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2022 February - Inwadar Collective Exhibition, Rudy Buhler Gallery, Marsascala, Malta

  • 2021 December - Christimas Collective, Art by the seaside, Senglea, Malta

  • 2021 November - Solo Collective 2, Gallery 23, Balzan, Malta

  • 2021 September - Unmasked, Gallery 23, Balzan, Malta

  • 2020 November - Solo Collective 1

  • 2020 May - 20x20, Christine X Gallery, Sliema, Malta

  • 2019 June - A morning at Villa Frere (collective), Gallery 23, Balzan, Malta

  • 2019 March - A Painted Narrative (solo exhibition) Gallery 23, Balzan Malta

  • 2018 May - Fabriano in Acquarello, Fabriano, Italy

  • 2017, April - Seasta, Corinthia Palace Attard, Malta

  • 2017, April - Fabriano in Acquarello, Fabriano, Italy

  • 2016, April - Fabriano in Acquarello,Fabriano, Italy

  • 2015, December - VGB Art Club - Plein Air Painters of Malta, Republic Street, Valletta, Malta, Collective

  • 2015 December - Plein Air Painters of Malta, Palazzo de Piro, Mdina, Malta, Collective

  • 2015, November - International Watercolour Society (IWS), Tirana, Albania

  • 2015, December - Internal Watercolour Society(IWS), New Delhi, India

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