QUARRY WALLS SERIES
A series of photographs, 50 x 60 cm, of quarries not far from San Lawrenz, Gozo, taken between 2001 and 2007.
For a good number of years, photography was for Attard a pragmatic part of the process that he never considered as a medium for his own artistic expression. He therefore cultivated his talent for this craft as a part of a more functional explorative process informing his endeavours in other art forms. Quarry Walls establishes a welcome departure from this shyness towards a nonetheless very genuine aptitude towards photography. The artist describes this series as the result of his personal exploration into a deep-rooted fascination: a series of photographic studies which first comes to light in 2001 and is, till this day, still a work in progress. As with other more recent photographic works by Nortbert F. Attard, this series exposes the ‘folded’ nature of the human experience: particular memories and moments in time are recognised as the generative framework, and therefore confronted in relation to, a perceptive continuum. The series may be seen as composed of a number of themes which often collide and come together in proposition of a continuity which reflects many a poet's description of the process by which the Mediterranean man shapes his landscape. Indeed, the artist’s photographs poetically confront the viewer with the material which is at once the physical component and at once the metaphor for the Gozitan communities which life is forever interweaved with the local stone. Views of the quarry set in the ever-embracing Gozitan landscape, detailed images of the limestone (both raw and machined), portraits of men at work, and instances of the industrial quarrying machinery, all come together so that they may take shape in our mind and - almost as if they are characters in a novel - are prompted to play out a part in our imagination to the same extent that they are explicitly portrayed by the artist.