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Patrick Scicluna - A Dreamy Softness   Print  E-mail 
Submitted by Artissa Administrator  
by E.V. Borg

SeraSensual and sentimental Patrick Scicluna paints exotic images of a personal realism at once incredible and fabulous. His dreamy softness and warmth achieve a sense of evocative nostalgia: moody, romantic and contagious. Unpretentious and unpresumptuous he regards Turner as his mentor and declares himself self-taught.

His subjective realism is atmospheric, a kind of suffused, misty ‘sfumato’ that creates a certain melancholy at the thought that such physical, tangible and palpable beauty must fade with death, that it is ephemeral, temporal and continually changing. A sigh of relief escapes the observer at the notion that such physical images are not real but mere illusion.

GhalluqReal or illusion ‘Ghalluq’, a lad dragging a net to catch special bait is a climax of virtual poetry and beauty. The lad’s movement in repose does not intrude or disturb the melting, shimmering light on water or the incandescent particles of light vibrating and trembling in soft clouds. The sky with tremulous silver light is worthy of a Tintoretto while the frozen subject is out of a Vermeer. The dying light falling on the lad’s straw hat and linen shirt refract splendidly with an incredible warm joy and an inexplicable acute sadness. What nostalgia!

SimarIn ‘Simar’ the same lad wades immersed in an endless and futile search in reeds and is oblivious of the beauty of dusk gradually settling on the land and invading the sky and the warm light caught on the reeds and setting them alight. The mitigated light is fading imperceptibly and the lad’s hat though lit is fading gradually and inexorably like a time-switch into the night, into darkness. ‘Simar’ in its sentimental appeal has an affinity with Millet’s ‘Angelus’ (1857-9) at the Louvre.

Selmun‘Sera’ in bikini is more real and tangible than actuality but the secret is the mystery, myth and magic evoked. The artist through suggestion creates a spiritual reality. The contrast between the tangible body and silky shiny skin of the model and her soft dark shadow on the wall behind her is overwhelming, almost intimidating in its ghostly presence and undoubtedly a virtuoso bravura in competition with Vermeer in a modern stance.

Meja‘Meja’ crouching in shorts and splashing in the water is rendered with broken and stippled blobs of steely blues as in the Impressionist and Pointillist techniques of rendering shadows in violet hues. This youth with marvellous, trailing, shiny tresses of brown hair is an idyll of celestial bliss – a carefree and relaxed moment of bliss (‘otium’). The stones, rocks and boulders and rippled waters are almost surreal in their acute and meticulous similitude.

il-Maghluq‘Il-Maghluq’ is a scene from Canaletto with a canoe and its reflection in the still waters, with weeds and reeds in a shallow lagoon-like habitat. The atmosphere is superb and the silence and reverie evoked is awesome and sublime.

AbstractThe atmospherics and ‘sfumato’ in his figurative work is also omnipresent in his moody abstracts with flaming wild reds in emerald green, orange and yellow hues. The contrast in some is astounding, surprising while in others the melting, suffused element is nostalgic, sentimental and romantic.

Two Seconds StillBorn in 1972 Patrick Scicluna at 38 is studying, researching, experimenting and inquiring inquisitively with the enthusiasm and energy of a child or as primordial man would do at seeing the rising sun for the first time. His power of observation is so acute when he tries to capture a mood, a sentiment, a feeling or express a sensual image or moment. His will to learn and excel in his work is insatiable.

JackPatrick was brought up by caring parents and lived his childhood and youth in Gzira until he married Charmaine nee Pullicino in 1995 and then moved to San Gwann. They have a son that Patrick adores and who inspires him without end. Patrick is a family man, a caring father and a hard worker. He studied electrical winding at Umberto Calosso School but later sought and was given employment at Hal Mann firm and for 14 years (1985-2000) he worked as an interior designer and draughtsman and between 2000-2003 as project manager, sales executive and designer. Though self-taught he managed some art classes under Ray Pitre’ between 1997 and 2002 and more recently between 2007-2008 nude studies under Anton Calleja. His skill in technical drawing has helped him in sketching, drawing and composition.

Since he is still studying and will continue to do so he eventually though inadvertently stumbled on the title of this exhibition: ‘Studies’.

‘Studies’ is the title of an exhibition of painting, realist and romantic by Patrick Scicluna at Palazzo Castellania (Medical & Health) at 15 Merchants Street Valletta open to the public between the 15th of March till the 20th of April. The inauguration by Dr. Joe Cassar Minister of Health, Elderly and Community Care and an introduction by E.V. Borg will take place on Friday 12th March 2010 at 19.30hrs.

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