Joseph Calleja (Gozo, 1981) and David Cass (Edinburgh, 1988) are connected by an enthusiasm for working with found materials. The two have maintained a creative dialogue over the past decade, since sharing studios whilst studying at Edinburgh College of Art. As Coastline is to Ocean features new, unseen works by Cass and Calleja; alongside seminal pieces by Robert Callender (1932—2011), selected by the artists to give a third voice to the exhibition.
Through Callender’s highly acclaimed sculpted shoreline artefacts, Cass’ found-object based coastline series and Calleja’s reconfigured picture frames, the exhibition offers artistic portrayals of both physical and metaphorical coastlines.
Calleja invites us to tunnel through the Earth to reach the gallery’s exact opposite geo-location (equidistant between New Zealand and Antarctica). Cass invites us to participate in a survey to determine the level of sea rise in our birthplaces across our lifetimes. Callender provokes us into looking twice at his perfectly crafted flotsam. And running in parallel with As Coastline is to Oceanis the micro-exhibition Coast, which originated from an open call and features artworks by twenty artists, on the topic of coastal change.
Over the last few years Cass’ work has become increasingly concerned with environmental issues related to water. From explorative works created in drought-zones, to illustrative projects focussed on flooding. His current works refer to rising sea levels, and in this exhibition Cass is looking specifically at coastal change.
Calleja takes a more anthropological approach to the project: meditating on the interdependence and links between the found-object, its history and essence. During a recent An Talla Solais residency, Calleja produced a series of artworks exploring the importance of the peripheral in art. This concept formed the foundation of the collaboration. For these artists, what is “at the edge” has been placed centre stage.