The Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale, with APS Bank as Main Partner, will take place from 13 November 2015 to 7 January 2016 in the historic, medieval walled city of Mdina, Malta.

Set against the extraordinary backdrop of the city’s baroque architecture – evident throughout its winding streets, palazzos, chapels and, of course, St. Paul’s Cathedral – it will enable a stimulating modern environment in which works of art by artists from diverse cultural backgrounds are displayed together under one central theme: ‘Christianity, Spirituality and the Other’, ‘The Other’ standing for faith and non-faith, belief and non- belief, theist and atheist, agnostic and polytheist.
Launching just days ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, hosted by Malta, the Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale will be an important cultural focus for the country, an island state in the Mediterranean Sea that has historically served as a bridge between North Africa and Europe.

The Mdina Biennale traces its roots back to the previous Christian and Sacred Art Biennale of the 1990s, and the forthcoming 2015 event will radically widen its creative spectrum. The thematic approach is profoundly important, playing a central role in the overarching conception of the Artistic Director, Dr. Giuseppe Schembri
Bonaci – to establish the Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale as a spiritual space of and for creativity.

The Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale has taken a radical new direction, evolving from the first such event, ‘Contemporary Sacred Art in Malta’ of 1994, and the subsequent exhibitions entitled ‘Contemporary Christian Art’, which took place in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2005.

The 1994 event ambitiously underlined the notion of museums as “depositories housing the results of cultural achievements attained by man’s will-power extending itself in all directions that emerge from human intelligence”. The 1996 Biennale concentrated on creating “a further development of the Sacred more closely linked with a definite characteristic of our cultural background”. Constant Dialogue was the central theme in 1998: “The widespread evaluation of the constant dialogue between the artist and the world around him”. The 2000 exhibition focussed on “the end of the present Millennium…and the long stretch of innumerable decades and revolving centuries of Christian existence”, while both 2002 and 2005 defined sacred, or spiritual, art as the summit of religious art and emphasised its connection with the artist’s “noble ministry”.

The 2015 Biennale will expand these various parameters, positing a bold declaration that all art is spiritual, in the sense that creative depiction, actions and events, through their intrinsic character, reflect the individual’s relation with reality, and with his or her own existence. Hence such creative acts are necessarily spiritual, independent of their ostensible devoutness, independent of a faith or lack of faith, independent of their allegiance to any particular faith, or to none.
The Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale will open with a classical concert on a grand scale performed by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, within Mdina’s central cathedral itself, a place in which no such event has ever taken place before. A series of concerts, performances, seminars and lectures will run throughout the duration of the biennale. A full programme will be issued in due course.
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For further information, interviews or images please contact Tani Burns:
T: 0207 377 5665
M: 07888 731 419
E: [email protected]
TW: @tburnsarts

Dr Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci is a graduate of the University of Malta, the State University of Kiev, and the State University of Moscow. He did postgraduate research at the State University of Milano and specialised in Law, Philosophy and the Arts. Dr Schembri Bonaci is currently senior lecturer in the Department of History of Art, University of Malta. Besides being the author of several academic research publications he is also an artist who has exhibited in various Maltese and international venues and galleries.


Karim Abd Elmalak (Egypt) Hend Adnan (Egypt)
Victor Agius
Nicola Arkell (UK)
Tom Armitage (UK)
Astarti Athanasiadou (Greece)
Alex Attard
Stéphan Barron (France)
Dominique de Beir (France)
Vince Briffa
Salvatore Cali (Italy)
Silvia Camporesi (Italy)
Alexandra Carle (France)
Josette Caruana
Joseph Paul Cassar
Mariella Cassar-Cordina
Anthony Catania
Biagio Cepollaro (Italy)
Gor Chahal (Russia)
Adam Chang (China)
Anna Chang (HK)
Valera & Natasha Cherkashin (USA/Russia) Isa Amiri Chulandim (Iran)
Vincent Côme (France)
Bernard Cousinier (France)
Michael von Cube (Germany)
Ilaria Cuccagna (Italy)
Alex Dalli
Patrick Dalli
Wiktoria Deero (UK)
Philippe Desloubières (France)
Adam Dix (UK)
Ibrahim El Dessouky (Egypt)
Damian Ebejer
Marc England
Richard England
Farid Fadel (Egypt)
Elena Faleschini (Italy)
Antoine Farrugia
Patrick Fenech
Guy Ferrer (France)
Karl Fiorini
Svetlana Gaivan (Russia)
Ilia Galan (Spain)
Rachel Galea
Albert Garzia
Aurora Gasull (Spain)
Madeleine Gera
Marlene Gouder
Paola de Gregorio (Italy)
Agatha Grima
Anna Grima
Anne Guillotel (France)
Paul Haber
Khaled Hafez (Egypt)
Doris Hahlweg
Andrew Hancock (UK)
James Alec Hardy (UK)
Nabil Helou (Lebanon)
Ġulja Holland
André Hogommat (France)
Naomi Hunter (UK)
Bambara Hyacinthe (Burkina Faso)
Sergei Isakov (Russia)

Christian Jaccard (Switzerland) Lee Joo-Youn (South Korea) Maria Kaleta (Poland)
Marie Louise Kold (Denmark) Michal Kozlowski (Poland) Lena Lapschina (Austria) Kacha Legrand (France) Loredana Longo (Italy) Frédérique Lucien (France) Jennifer Mallia
Sylvie de Meurville (France) Sina Farrugia Micallef
James Micallef Grimaud Daniela Guevska (Bulgaria) Vadim Moskalev (Russia) Galina Moskaleva (Russia) Nero/Alessandro Neretti (Italy) Myriam O (Poland)
Marianne Ogden (USA)
Roman Opalinksi (Ukraine) Reuben Pace
Patrice Pantin (France) Ki-Woong Park (South Korea) Claire Marie Pearman (UK)
Ana Catarina Pereira (Portugal) Giuliano Della Pergola (Italy) Denis Pondruel (France)
Helga Portanier
Pierre Portelli
D. Priyanka (India)
Reda Abdel Rahman (Egypt) Gildas Le Reste (France)
Michel Rico (France)
Sandra Rizza (Italy)
Giovanni Ruggiero (Italy) Stepan Ryabchenko (Ukraine) Jess Rymer (UK)
Marc Sagona
Mario Sammut
Michael Sandle
Nicolas Sanhes (France) Stephanie Sant
Brian Schembri
Pino Scicluna
Janez Sever (Russia)
Vladimir Shakhlevich (Russia) Richard Shields (UK)
Joseph Smith
Anthony Spagnol
Victor Spiteri
Oliver Sturm (Germany)
Simon Sultana Harkins Mohamed Talaat (Egypt) Darren Tanti
Carmen Tsang (UK)
Francesca Abela Tranter
John Vella
James Vella Clark
María Verdugo Althöfer Cristina Vilallonga (Spain) Angelina Voskopoulou (Greece) Robert Weatherburn (Australia)