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Sunday Times - Côte d'Azur

Article by Dame Francoise Tempra
Published in Sunday Times - 2003
Originally published in English.

Malta Biennale event in France

On March 22 a "satellite" show of the Malta International Art Biennale opened on the Côte d'Azur, near Cannes, with a selection of works from 30 countries by award-winning artists at the 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001 Biennales or selected for the 2003 Biennale (June 14- October 1). The exhibition was curated by the founder-president of the Malta Biennale, Dame Françoise Tempra.

Le Moulin de Peymeinade, residence of Giacomo de Pass, as well as painting and sculpture ateliers of the artist, around the swimming pool and verdant gardens, was part of the historical estate, the Chateau de Cabris, owned by turbulent Marquise de Cabris, a relative of Napoleon's minister, Mirabeau.

Artist Korber with Artists and Dame Francoise Tempra  at  Peymeinade Town, France

Malta Biennale artists attended from Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Malta, Tunisia, UK and US, and were mostly guests at this superb venue.

They also enjoyed a special welcome reception, on March 21, by the mayor of Peymeinade, Dr Florent Lerebour, and deputy mayor Mme Laenger, in the town hall.

A selection of Malta Biennale artists' works will now be part of the Peymeinade town hall's permanent collection and library as Dame Françoise presented books and works by artists from eight countries. Maltese artists' works included those of Anton Agius, Nikki Arnett-Depasquale, Gabriel Caruana, Joe Genovese, Tony Mangion and Arthur Rizzo.

Tony Mangion, who had travelled with the group from Malta, received great applause from the public on both occassions for his portraits of President de Marco, soprano Miriam Gauci and Fr Marius Zerafa, especially the one in the Oratory of St John in Valletta showing the Caravaggio, which will remain in the permanent town hall collection. The mayor stated he also proudly accepted Tony Mangion's book The Maltese for the library.

The works donated to the Peymeinade town hall included dynamic large canvases by Michael Korber, vibrant perspex creations by R.O. Schabbach, the entwined passionate figures of Ran Gazit, the entertaining caricatures of Antonio Fuertes and the surrealistically enticing nudes of his son Mario, the geometrical envolées of Irene Rousseau, the famous 1937 Wind and Rain darken the Sky, the Cock crows incessantly by Chinese artist Xu Beihong, the linear lyricism of Manuel Quintanilla, the lesser known abstraction of sculptor Peter Meyers, the goddesses of Maqbool Hussein, and the fascinating etchings of Ahmed Nawar, Joseph Paul Cassar and Bruna Brazzalotto.

Photo of Korber’s drawing titled - Surrender to a new begining... part of the collection of Musée du Touquet in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, France
Surrender to a new begining... by Korber

Other works included the entertainingly humorous Moggie of Milena Kunz Bijno, the Three-legged Race by Patricia Finch, the flowing Venices of Luciano Gasper the galactic universe of Lilika Papanicolaou, linear works by Frank Hill, a nude by Anthony Calleja and others by Maltese artists Harry Alden and Norbert Attard, Saif Gaddafi, Salah Shagroun and Fawzi Zwei (Libya), Zoltan Perlmutter (Israel), Norbert Attard, Rita Charis Pergolani (Belgium), Carlos Diaz (Peru), and Dominique Philippe, Xavier Zevaco and Guy Lemesre (France).

During the evening Dame Françoise was presented with the K18 award from Germany in presence of Professor Ivan Coset Maniere (of Ceram Sophia Antipolis, the Nice-Cote d'Azur chamber of commerce, who plans a special Malta Biennale event early next year):

K18 was founded in 1993 in Düsseldorf, Germany by R.O. Schabbach and co-founders Ansgar K (Kristensen), Ellen Abram and Kurt Dospinghaus to build up an international network of selected artists to communicate and exchange philosophical and practical knowledge. An important part of

An important part of this is the possibility to travel to other countries and to have the opportunity to work, perform and exhibit their art.

In 1995 the group founded a forum for the performing arts, and opened a studio. Numerous exhibitions were held in museums, galleries and studios with big recognition. This year, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, K18 created the first international Art Supporters Award.The 2003 nominees for their award, besides Dame Françoise, include Gunter Sachs (art collector), Donald Trump, Johannes Rau (President of Germany) and, posthumously, Anthony Quinn (in memory of his support of the arts). Dame Françoise received the award for her outstanding support of the arts, as her life project.

The post-opening evening proceeded with songs and dancing (with 2003 Malta Biennale second writer, composer and performer Dynam (France), 2003 Biennale jazz composer and percussionist Ross de Julio (Italy), and finally "pianist for the occasion", journalist Marco Libelli, from the financial Italian newspaper II Sole-24 Ore, who had specially traveled from Milan.

The 'highlight' of the evening was the 2003 Malta Biennale film Entre-Ciel and of course a short 'preview' of the film on Giacomo de Pass by Michel Claret, with music by Arnaud Galand and text by Didier Cazet. The director of the Malta Tourism Authority office in France, Robert Zammit, who had come from Paris and said a few words at the opening, was among those watching the film, which also features Malta prominently.

Photo of the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, Malta
Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, Malta

The 2003 Malta Biennale will be opening on June 14 at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, and many those watching the film concluded that this would be a good opportunity to visit the island.

The evening went on with the birthday celebrations of Dame Françoise's sister Mina Tempra, art and music lover Diana Grech and the American singer Sherri Tyler until the early hours of the morning.