Il-Haġar| Heart of Gozo is holding a temporary exhibition of photographs by Jorg Bottcher. Born near Berlin, Germany, the self-taught artist and accomplished photographer has been mesmerised by the Island of Gozo since he first visited back in 1978. Gozo has been his artistic inspiration especially since he settled permanently in Zebbug in 1992.
This exhibition entitled ‘Vanishing Gozo’, will present a collection of photographs taken by the artist over the last two decades. The theme of the exhibition is a recollection with nostalgia of images of lost characteristics in Gozo. The photographs mainly portray elements like doorways, niches and other features that were destroyed or removed in recent years to make way for apartments and other new buildings. Bottcher gives prominence to all those architectural features of Gozo that to most of the inhabitants are considered as an eyesore. Infact, Mr Joe Camilleri comments that Jorg Bottcher manages to: “find beauty in ugliness, and turn abandoned buildings, dilapidated facades, old doors, rusty cars and what not into pleasant and attractive decorative works of art.”
Perhaps reflecting the artist’s own tranquil and slow paced lifestyle, this collection of photographs seems to give time and space to ordinary yet special elements of Gozo allowing them to speak and manifest their presence. An aura of silence and void dominates these photos in which brightly coloured doors and decorative nitches become the protagonists. Like old grandparents sitting on a chair in the corner of their living room or infront of their humble homes narrating stories about their youthful years, these Gozitan features, though inanimate, still express a strong character and personality, revealing the story of their life. Their fading colours, cracked paint, their decline and their vandalised features are no different from the wrinkles on an elderly person’s face, and thus serve as a vehicle for us all to understand and appreciate the beauty of the passing of time.
The photographs are being displayed in the foyer of the museum premises at St.George’s Square, Victoria –Gozo between the 5th of April and the 27th of April 2014, Monday to Sunday: 9.00am to 5.30pm. The official opening will take place on the 5th of April at 7.30 pm. The Museum extends an invitation to the public to attend and view the exhibition.
Entrance is free.