Culture Catchup: Godwin Cassar
Godwin Cassar is a retired architect and planner, as well as a popular artist who is now presenting a beautiful collection of his paintings.
“Upon retirement I first published a compilation of technical articles concerning planning issues and then took up art as a hobby,” he says. “Following that I took a short summer course on drawing in pencil, doing portraits and preparing bird profiles in ink and coloured pencils, and everything developed from there.”
After that, Gowdin joined the School of Art and, after the first year exam, took up watercolours under the guidance of a British resident artist. He has also followed a short course with John Martin Borg and has attended an art workshop in Tuscany.
“I have been working on this exhibition for about two years now, working on scenes from my home town Valletta and Venice,” he adds. “This exhibition is the culmination of that.”
The solo exhibition ‘Impressions’ will run from 6th September to 31st October at the Hilton, consisting of 48 watercolour paintings that showcase Godwin’s developing style. Valletta and Venice feature prominently, together with other scenes from Malta, Delft and Lausanne. For more information visit www.godwin.artistwebsites.com.
Which is your favourite type of cultural event?
I really enjoy classical music concerts, although, since taking up art, I am now following local art exhibitions too.
Which book do you wish you had written?
A sustainable blueprint for Malta, which would set out planning guidelines on a long term basis protecting valuable assets for future generations.
Which cultural experience did you enjoy most, ever?
My visit to Venice impressed me since it is unique in the way you travel around on water, the architecture is so varied and colourful, yet it is all so homogenous.
Which is your top travel destination for culture?
I think London is by far the best travel experience for culture, both in terms of the performing arts and visual arts.
Which art experience do you remember most vividly and why?
I was very impressed by the art collection at Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and especially enjoyed the running commentary.
Locally, which cultural event of 2013 stands out most in your mind and why?
The Mattia Preti exhibition was an exposition which highlighted the valuable cultural assets that we sometimes take for granted.
In your eyes, which will be the must-attend cultural event of 2013?
John Martin Borg will be putting up an art exhibition at the Presidential Palace and I am sure it will be a great success.
Which is your favourite cultural space/location and why?
The Manoel Theatre, because it’s a jewel of a theatre. However I also like St James Cavalier because it presents an intimate experience with the actors. Unfortunately we do not have a museum for contemporary art yet.
Which cultural professional do you look up to/admire most?
Locally, John Martin Borg, because he has thoroughly mastered watercolours and is so versatile in depicting mood and atmosphere in his paintings – particularly when it comes to landscapes and seascapes. On an international level I also like John Yardley for his exquisite paintings that use the minimum of brush strokes, and Tom Schaller who is an American architect/watercolourist, for his bold interpretations of light and shade.
How do you hope culture in Malta will continue to develop?
I hope we can have a more varied cultural calendar that makes use of our urban spaces in more innovative ways, both for the visual arts and performing arts.
What culture advice/tip can you offer readers?
Nurture children’s love for art and culture from a young age, as they will reap the benefits when they grow up.