BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY
Published by Midsea Books Limited in collaboration with Heritage Malta.
Edited by Ranier Fsadni and
Lisa Gwen Baldacchino.
Critical Essay by Richard England.
Foreword by Aomi Okabe.
Between Earth and Sky reviews the work carried out by Maltese artist Norbert Francis Attard during a six-week “artist-in-residence” stay in Kamiyama, Japan in 2004. Attard has made a name for himself as an installation artist on the international art circuit through his original approach in combining social and cultural aspects in his work with intriguing overlays of scientific and religious themes. Fellow countryman, architect Richard England, who has long followed Attard’s artistic development, provides an indepth study of the artist’s Japan works examining Attard’s interest in the amalgamation of the spirit of place of the ancient cultures of his home land isle of the Middle Sea with the genius loci and enigmatic “kimono” mind of the land of the rising sun. England analyses how Attard successfully threads these disparate cultures into fascinating yin-yang amalgams; complex symbiosis merging the mystery of art with the magic of number. Lavishly illustrating the Maltese and Japanese backgrounds and the artist’s works, Between Earth and Sky provides a fascinating documentation of an exploratory chronicler’s work in an European-Oriental hybrid art-form to provide a poetic road map to walk contemporary man out of the chaos of today’s world and enable him to again understand and relate to the world as a sacred space.
Richard England was born in Malta and graduated in Architecture at the University of Malta. He continued his studies in Italy at the Milan Polytechnic and also worked as a student-architect in the studio of the Italian architect-designer Gio Ponti. He is also a sculptor, photographer, poet and artist. He is the author of several books on both art and architecture, and a number of monographs have been published on his work. Richard England holds professorships at various universities in the U.S.A, U.K. and Europe (Visiting Professor (Honoris Causa) at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Honorary Fellow at the University of Bath, England and an Academician at the International Academy of Architecture and also a Professor (Honoris Causa) at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of New York, U.S.A.. In 1993 The Government of Malta appointed him Officer of The Order of Merit. His buildings and designs have earned him numerous International prizes and Awards. Among his best known buildings in Malta are the Church of St Joseph at Manikata, the Central Bank of Malta Annexe, the Millennium Chapel and the St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity in Valletta. Richard England has worked in the capacity of Architectural Consultant to governmental and private institutions in the following countries:- Yugoslavia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Italy, Argentina, Poland, Bulgaria, the Ex-Soviet Union, and his native Malta. He has followed and written about Norbert Francis Attard’s work since the mid-seventies.
Aomi Okabe was born in Japan, graduating in Museums Studies in modern and contemporary art history at the Ecole du Louvre, Paris, France and at the Sorbonne University IV, in 1986. She has beenis presently Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan, since 1999. Between 1993 and 1995, she was visiting Professor of non-Occidental Art History at the Ecole Ssuperieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, France. She has beenis aArt adviser to Shiseido Art Gallery in Tokyo and Ohara Art Museum in Kurashiki, since 2005 and 2002 respectively. Since 2005, she has also been also a member of the Selection Committee of the Japan Foundation for Commissioners on Biennials and Triannials in Japan. Aomi Okabe has had several curatorial experiences, her. Her most important being the following: Curator for α M project, 2005-06, ask Gallery, Musashino Art University; sSelection member for theof Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial, 2005; gGuest cCurator for the Institut Franco-Japonais de Tokyo : (The female Landscape:-Thunder of the World), 2003; gGuest cCurator for the Canadian Embassy Art Gallery: (Artists in Banff Residency), 2001; cChief cCurator of the Mercian Karuizawa Art Museum in Nagano : (Georges Rousse, 1999; Balthus and Giacometti, 1997; Marc Chagall, painting, sculptures, ceramics 1920-1983, 1996; Painters Ttapestry 1996; Joan Miro, Llabyrinthine Ddream, 1995); gGuest cCo-cCurator for French Contemporary Art, Eye and Spirit, Gunma Prefecture Museum and two other mMuseums in Japan, 1997-98; sSelection member of the International Art Film Biennial, Georges Pompidou Centreer in Paris, 1990, 1992; cCurator for Japanese Avant-Gardes 1910-1970, the National Modern Museum of Georges Pompidou Centreer in Paris, 1986. She is the sole author of a number of books, namely: Contemporary Art and Art Space in Japan: - Realities through Museum Studies-, Tokyo, Musashino Art University Press, 2005; Art, Women, Image, Tokyo, Saikisha, 2003; History of Pompidou Centreer, Tokyo, Kinokuniya Publisher, 1997; Art Seed-Art Documentary Films on Pompidou Centreer Collection, Tokyo, Libroport, 1993; The Place of Art: -French Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Skydoor, 1992. Her essays are also included in the following books: Advanced Museum Studies, Musashino Art University Press, 2003; Art Management, Musashino Art University Press, 2003; Contemporary Art Theories, Musashino Art University Press, 2002; Museum Studies for Bbeginners, Musashino Art University Press, 2002; My Art-History of Contemporary Art.