London based sculptor Phyllida Barlow entrusts the most arbitrary, unrelated materials with the role of becoming artworks. Her sculptural configurations are utterly uncompromising for their confrontation of space, as though entrusted with the role of challenging it thereafter. To sense space, to acknowledge it as a relatively undisturbed instrument of reality, to consider space as unconditional, is to begin to understand Barlow’s works. Her fantastic forms appear on the verge of collapsing into space, as it acts as central to their existence. Barlow is an artist who allows for a great deal of uncertainty to how she handles and involves her often damaged and discarded materials. Intent on impressing upon the neutrality of space her unreserved ambitions, her works, for their unruly spirit, assemble relics from an abandoned amusement park.

The MICAS in Conversation is a series of short conversations between art critic Rajesh Punj and a selection of Maltese and international artists on the involving effect of space on their art practice against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications.

MICAS is a Government of Malta infrastructural legacy project for the Culture and the Arts sector. MICAS will be realised through state funded restoration of historical fortifications and is an EU co-funded project that will deliver the MICAS internal galleries through the European Regional Development Fund in 2022.

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