SCULPTURAL WORKS FEATURE IN AN ITALIAN PUBLICATION
Coinciding with the 150th Anniversary celebrations of Italy’s Unification, Prof.ssa
Angela Picca residing in Rome, has published in 2012, “Pugliesi per l’Italia unita”
(Volume 1) dealing about the Risorgimento Italiano.
After five hardous years, the same author has just published her Volume 2 of the
“Pugliesi per l’Italia unita” - ‘Sulle orme degli esuli’ in July 2017 in which
Prof.ssa Angela Picca elaborates thoroughly about the exiles that left the Kingdom
of Naples and took refuge in Greece, Corfu and Malta.
A detailed and much elaborated chapter, is the one that deals about the Maltese
Archipelago where the author mentions her visit to Gozo in 2013 from where she
started writing her Volume 2. Prof.ssa Angela Picca mentions among different local
themes, Malta’s prehistory; the megalithic temples, the ‘Sleeping Lady’ and when she
met the Gozitan stone sculptor Joe Xuereb and his contemporary works from which
Prof.ssa Picca chose one of his sculptures which she has printed in her lavish
publication. She further mentions in her book, Xuereb’s monumental public sculptures
which one can find on permanent display at Rundle Gardens in Victoria, Gozo and in
The publication carries an acknowledgment by H.E. Vanessa Frazier, Ambassador of
Malta in Rome and the Greek Ambassador in Rome, H.E.Themistoklis Demires.
Prof.ssa Angela Picca, the author of “Pugliesi per l’Italia unita” has graduated
from Rome La Sapienza University in Modern Literature and in History of Oriental
The official book launch in Malta will place on Sunday 12th November 2017 at the
Mediterranean Conference Center in Valletta during the upcoming Book Festival 2017
where Prof.ssa Angela Picca will be proudly attending.
SCULPTURE EXHIBITION - FRANKFURT, GERMANY.
2015 - 13th December 2015)
‘The Spirit of an Island’
19th November to 13th December 2015
AusstellungsHalle 1A, Schulstraße 1, 60594
Vernissage: Wednesday 18th November 2015 - 19.00 hr
Part of ‘European Cultural Days’ of the European Central Bank
‘The Spirit of an Island’ is the title of an Exhibition that took place in Frankfurt, Germany organised by the European Central Bank with the collaboration of the Malta Central Bank.
Two Gozitan artists, photographer Daniel Cilia and sculptor Joe Xuereb participated in this Exhibition labelled as ‘photography and sculpture in dialogue’ which was curated by Prof. Joe Friggieri. A full colour brochure was printed about the works on display and presented to all the guests that visited the exhibition.
The vernissage of the exhibition that took place on 18th November 2015, at the AusstellungsHalle, was very well attended with around 200 guests filling the exhibition place. An introductory welcoming speech was delivered by Ms Helga E. Meister, Head of Protocol, Directorate General Communications of ECB followed by Dr. Dorothee Baer-Bogenschütz who gave a detailed art critique about the works on display.
The Exhibition got some very good reviews amongst them a report written by Christoph Schütte on the ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine’ which is one of the leading newspapers in Germany.
For Ghajnsielem based sculptor Joe Xuereb, this was his thirteenth Exhibition held in Germany over the last 20 years.
This Exhibition was part of the ‘Cultural Days – 2015 Malta’ an extensive programme of cultural events that was presented in Frankfurt am Main, comprising various artistic performances, ranging from music, dance and theatre to art exhibitions and literary events.
The President of the Republic, Dr.
George Abela, has taken another initiative to organise the ‘Verdala Sculpture
Garden’ set in the gardens of the historical Verdala Palace that lies in Rabat,
Malta near the silent city of Mdina. The main idea behind Malta’s first
sculpture garden project, is to enhance the local artistic scene and also to
permit that the grounds of the Palace have to be open to the general public to
view the permanent sculpture exhibition.
For this purpose, the organising committee have chosen 10 contemporary Malta
based sculptors and Joe Xuereb was one among those asked to present one of their
sculptural works. Each artist was asked to prepare a model/maquette of his
project to be displayed in an exhibition held purposely in July 2013 at the same
Verdala Palace, to launch officially this Sculpture Garden to the local
Joe Xuereb, who was specifically asked to use the local limestone as the medium
for this project, has designed a composition of two very expressive figures
standing close one to the other and titled ‘RESPECT’. These were carved from
stone blocks of 2 mtrs in height and when finished each figure weighed
approximately 2.6 tons. The mutual expression of the seated figures convey a
sense of respect one toward the other. However it remains essentially an element
of paramount importance that we cultivate this value of respect in all our
communities through an open-ended, fully inclusive and quality-based attitude
and policy. Hence, if ‘respect’ is conducted on a daily routine, all mankind can
benefit from an enhanced and peaceful living and sustainable environment.
Tuesday 4th March 2014 was the date chosen when H.E. the President of the
Republic inaugurated officially the Verdala Sculpture Garden in the presence of
many guests. Each sculptor was then asked to give a short description of his
work. Besides Xuereb’s limestone sculptures, there are ceramic works, steel and
metal, hard stone, mixed media and one interactive sculpture. In another part of
the garden, another 4 sculptural works are being displayed temporary by students
of MCAST Art & Design Institute who were also responsible for planning the
layout of this Sculpture Garden.
It is to be remarked that the Verdala Palace was built by Grandmaster Hughues
Loubenx de Verdalle in 1586.
Gozo Gossiping – Public Monument
On Tuesday 14th August 2012, The
Minister for Gozo, Mrs. Giovanna Debono, inaugurated two public monuments at
Villa Rundle Gardens in the center of Victoria as part of ‘The Public Art in
Gozo’ scheme. The occasion happened during the official launch of the
Agricultural Show that is held annually during the Santa Maria festa at the same
gardens, for which the Bishop of Gozo, Mons. Mario Grech also attended.
Gozitan sculptor Joe Xuereb has designed and carved the monument “Gozo
Gossiping” from massive limestone blocks that were brought over from Siggiewi in
Malta since the material is considered to be of very good quality. The sculpture
is composed of two seated figures; the biggest of height of 180cm by 145cm in
length by 95cm in width and standing on a low flat pedestal of height of 40cm by
245cm long by 125cm wide, both figures chattering and whispering, a local
characteristic that takes place especially when we meet outdoors in such natural
ambience that Rundle Gardens can offer to the general public. Close by Xuereb’s
‘Gozo Gossiping’ monument, the Maltese sculptor Angelo Agius has erected his
bronze sculpture titled “Serenity” that contrasts nicely with the honey colored
medium of the local limestone.
The Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono who inaugurated these works of art,
praised the artists great creativity, and said that by year’s end a total of 13
monuments will be put in place in various locations around the island.
The Minister concluded by saying that this scheme, which is one of the
initiatives taken by the Action Plan for Eco-Gozo 2010 – 2012, will give the
Gozitan people and all those who visit the island the opportunity to enjoy works
of art on the street, and not just between the four walls of a museum, whilst
also highlighting the outstanding work of local artists.
Overall 64 artists have participated in this scheme, producing a variety of
works of art from both Gozo and Malta, as well as works of art produced by
foreigners who reside in Gozo and Malta.
Donation to Arka Foundation in
The ‘London Charities Association’ has
this year made another donation of €5000- to the Arka Foundation in Ghajnsielem
after also donating €13,000- and €10,000- in the past two years. These funds are
raised during the annual Gala Dinner that the Association holds in November at
‘The Landmark’ in London where local artists make contributions of their art to
be auctioned during the fund raising event.
Joe Xuereb , who has offered two medium sized sculptures raising the sum of
€2500-, has been contributing for this event for the past 11 years.
Mrs. Tina Rapinet made the official cheque presentation to Mgr.Emmanuel Curmi,
director and founder of Arka Respite Center in the presence of Mr. Michael
Rapinet and sculptor Joe Xuereb.
Public Art in Gozo
In an effort to embellish different
locations on the island of Gozo with contemporary works of art, the Gozo
Ministry launched a sculpture exhibition/competition in February 2011 in which
about 150 designs have
been submitted for selection from Maltese and Gozitan based artists.
Joe Xuereb’s sole entry titled ‘Gozo Gossiping’ has been selected among the
first 20 projects. It has
been agreed that the monumental sculpture of height of 175cm, will be worked in
the local limestone. The
project will consist of two seated figures in gossiping and relaxing mood and
will be positioned at the newly
refurbished Victoria Public Gardens.
On 6th December 2011, Joe Xuereb signed a contract with the Eco-Gozo Regional
Development – Ministry
for Gozo, for the execution of the ‘Gozo Gossiping’ monumental sculpture project
which has to be put in
place by end July 2012.
Donation to ARKA
Foundation in Ghajnsielem
Joe Xuereb was one of
the contributors to the Maltese Charities Association of London by
donating for free, one of his sculptures which was auctioned during
their annual Grand Ball held in November 2006 at the Landmark Hotel
to raise funds for Maltese Charities. Actually all the art pieces
were auctioned during the fund-raising event and Joe’s sculpture
fetched a remarkable price of GBP £1600-
On Joe’s recommendation, the London society has accepted that they
make a contribution of £M1000- to “Arka Foundation”, the only
respite center based over on Gozo. For the official presentation
held in April 2007, Mrs Tina Rapinet, one of the committee members,
came over to Gozo and made the donation to Rev.Fr. Emmanuel Curmi,
director of Arka Foundation.
The Malta Charities Association has been established for the last 19
years during which the association has managed to distribute about
GBP £250,000- to various charitable and philanthropic organizations
in Malta and Gozo.
Sculpture Photo exhibited
During July 2006, a
photography exhibition titled “EOS Digital Works” and organized by Canon
in Tokyo, 16 photographers were selected throughout Japan among whom
there was Yasutake ITO. Mr Ito a professional photographer happened to
have visited Joe Xuereb Gallery in Ghajnsielem, Gozo and for his entry
to the exhibition held at the Canon Gallery Ginza in Tokyo, Mr ITO has
chosen 2 photos of Joe Xuereb sculptures which he has shown to the
Japanese public. It is estimated that round 1000 persons visited the
show on a daily basis. Mr ITO was amused to note that people used to
stop and admire the photo portraying the Gozitan sculptor holding one of
his latest works!
Sculptures exhibited in
Joe Xuereb has signed a one year contract to have a representation
of his works exhibited at the “Salon” of Montserrat Gallery, New
York, U.S.A. from March 2006 to February 2007. This contact with
Montserrat Gallery was possible after the management of this Gallery
has viewed Xuereb’s work on the internet and invited Xuereb to show
his sculptures in their “Salon”
Montserrat Gallery has been in the art scene for almost 20 years and
it is located in the new hub for art in Chelsea, New York. The
gallery has achieved a reputation as one of Manhattan's most
consistently and innovative exhibition spaces for artists from USA
and abroad. Many discerning art collectors and art critics were
drawn to Montserrat Gallery for its stimulating roster of painters,
sculptors and artists working in various new media.
Xuereb has already exhibited at the Lincoln Centre, New York, in
1996 in a collective exhibition of Maltese art, that took place at
Fordham University terrace. For more information about this
New York venture, one can make contact with Michelle of Montserrat
Gallery on tel. nr. 21-268-0088
547 West 27th Street
(Gallery opening hours between 12.00pm to 18.00hrs from Tuesday to
The Duke of Edinburgh unveils Joe Xuereb’s Monumental Sculpture
Joe Xuereb has been commissioned by the Gozo Ministry to design and
carve a sculpture to commemorate the official visit to Gozo by HRH
The Duke of Edinburgh who accompanied Queen Elizabeth when she
visited Malta to attend for the Commonwealth Heads of Governments
Meeting. The sculpture is now being exhibited permanently at the
entrance of the Gozo Ministry building in St Francis Square in
Xuereb has worked from a large block of stone of height of 122 cm
and has titled his work of art as "Life Within the Commonwealth" In
his design endeavors, he tried to show that the whole sculpture
represents the Commonwealth with its individual members. The two
entwined ends portray the special friendship and close relations
between Great Britain and Malta whereby the Gozitan limestone
represents the island of Gozo. During the official ceremony Joe
Xuereb has been acclaimed for his accomplishment.
As part of the itinerary planned for his official visit to the
island of Gozo , HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited ‘The Gozo
Ministry’ in Victoria being accompanied by the Minister for Gozo,
the Hon. Giovanna Debono throughout his stay. In fact upon arrival
for the unveiling ceremony the Hon Minister introduced HRH The Duke
to sculptor Joe Xuereb who chatted with him for a while and then
proceeded with the ceremony. The Duke commented very positively for
the design in the local limestone so much so that he touched the
sculpture to feel the tactile and smooth finish.
The monumental sculpture project has been sponsored by the British
High Commission who were also responsible for most of the
organization of the official visit to Malta by Her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. In fact the wording
inscribed in gold colour on the black granite pedestal on which the
sculpture is now nicely displayed, read as:
Presented to the people
by the British high Commission and unveiled by
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
on the occasion of his visit to Gozo
25th November 2005
"In Celebration of the Friendship and Heritage we share"