Quadrat 5

by Stefan Spiteri

“The name for the series, emerged from the square frames of wire usually placed on the ground by ecologists to study the distribution of living organisms in habitats, to look at the plants or slow-moving animals within them. Similarly, each panel is acting like a quadrat to study the behaviour of paint within every particular enclosure. This body of work is looking at the painting process as an action that behaves, reacts and adapts just like any other natural instinct. This can be recorded in the way the paint acts on the surface it is applied to, how it travels from brush to surface and how it responds to aggressive scratching and layering. Therefore by referring to motifs from nature, the painter recognizes the nature within him. Working from within, the painter memorizes the profusion found in nature and reassembles it in a new world of pictorial harmony. As a result the painter embodies the role of a listener and messenger. Firstly, he surrenders to the nature of the painting process, he responds to the context surrounding him, he extracts from it and lastly, through gestures and mark making he rearranges memories into matter. These actions, reactions and translations constitute the ‘nature of painting’. Just like any living organism that transmutes energy into plenitude, so does the painting process. Similarly, the work encapsulates the transfer of energy from lived experience into matter.”

  • 34cm by 42cm unframed
  • Oil on panel
  • 2021


Stefan Spiteri (b.1998) is a Maltese artist who works mainly with painting, drawing and collage. His creative process addresses space, memory and time, exploring these themes through a continuous layering of meaning, material and gesture. Spiteri graduated with a bachelor’s degree with Honours in Fine Art from MCAST Institute for the Creative Arts in 2019. In 2018, he participated in a three-week artist’s residency in Piedmont, Italy as one of the selected artists for the Amuse project. His debut solo show entitled ‘On The Nature Of Painting’ was held at Valletta Contemporary Malta in 2021. He currently lives and works in Malta.


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