Bejta Artisanis one of Gozo’s hidden gems – a small artisan gallery housed within the Ta’Nikol Gallery in the old part of Victoria. If you’re looking for new and local art then look no further – as the gallery exhibits a continually updated range of unique work from more than 20 local artists as well as artisan crafts people.
If you’ve ever visited the gallery you may have met Abi MacLeod Clark and Emma Morgan – the two enthusiastic British-born artists who own the space. Since it opened in 2014, Betja Artisanhas become a vibrant community arts space with Abi and Emma running a range of fun, hands-on art and craft classes for creative types of all ages.
And new for 2019, Baron Holiday Homes has partnered with Abi and Emma to offer our guests arts and crafts classes and workshops during your stay. If you have any budding artists in your family this might be the ideal thing to do on your holiday on Gozo!
You can read more about Gozo’s arts and crafts scene in our previous blog post Be Dazzled By The Unique Arts & Crafts of Gozo. In this blog post we thought it would be a good idea to talk to Abi and Emma about their work and what they can offer our guests.
Abi MacLeod Clark (left) and Emma Victoria Morgan (right) enjoying a tea break. Photo credit: Federico Chini
Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you came to live on Gozo?
Abi: I’m originally from Brighton in the UK and moved to Malta in 2005. After studying art and design as well as theatre design, I went travelling and worked as an artist all over Europe. I have also worked with many community arts-based projects in the UK, including the Same Sky Group whose main aim is to bring art to children from deprived areas.
Emma: I grew up in the north of England and after many years travelling I settled in Malta in 2006. I studied stage craft and stage management and then worked for various theatre companies in the UK and abroad. I’ve worked on many community theatre and arts pieces including designing an art installation/ puppetry piece for London International Festival of theatre in 2001.
What sort of art do you practise?
Dragonfly mosaic by Abi Macleod Smith. Photo credit: //abimacleodclark.webs.com/
Abi: I am a mosaic artist specialising in using recycled and unwanted objects. My studio is in the gallery and I like to use found, reclaimed or recycled materials for my work. [See Abi’s website for more information: https://abimacleodclark.webs.com/]
Artwork by Emma Victoria Morgan. Photo credit: Bejta Artisan
Emma: I mainly work in clay, creating wall hanging art – it’s sort of like painting with clay! My studio is also in the gallery and we share a small workshop. Ilike to experiment with different textures and techniques.
Where can visitors to Gozo see your work?
You can see both our work at the gallery (and often see us hard at work as well!) alongside the work of 20 other local artists based here in Gozo.
How does Gozo inspire you?
Gozo inspires us both in many ways - from the sea and land to the local traditions. In the gallery we always theme the artwork according to the season. At the moment the walls are full of lush green and flowered art to reflect spring, in a few weeks when the weather warms up the art will change to the cool blues of the sea and through autumn and winter we always chose warm rich colours.
When did you first start collaborating with each other?
We became friends at the school gates as we both had children at Victoria’s primary school and found that we had a common interest in all things creative. We started running our first children’s workshops in 2013 and things have just grown from there!
Kids enjoy creating with lots of different materials. Photo credit: Bejta Artisan
How do you think you have helped/influenced each other?
We work very well together. We constantly bounce ideas off each other and we are both very much hands-on ‘act first think later’ creative people. This often leads to a crazy creative atmosphere and quite often a lot of mess!
What sort of workshops/classes will you be offering Baron Holiday Homes’ guests and what is the likely class size?
Alongside our weekly children craft lessons we also offer a wide variety of taster classes for groups of four or over. These include, introduction to mosaic, lino printing, card making, air drying clay and pebble painting. These classes can either be taken in our gallery or we can come to your Baron Holiday Home. Plus we supply all materials and equipment needed.
Do people need to have some artistic experience to join a class?
No artistic experience is needed just a love of creativity and an open mind! Anyone aged from three to 100 can join our classes, have fun, learn something new and laugh a lot!
Do you enjoy teaching art? What makes it special?
We love teaching art and crafts. We enjoy sharing our experience, knowledge and skills.
Do you offer any particular activities for families and groups/ children?
We can tailor make a classes to suit everyone’s need whether that be a mixed age group or people with varied abilities. And as our classes are all tailor made they can last anything from an hour to a half-day, or even a full day.
Ask us for help
Baron Holiday Homes is happy to organise your next adventure, car hire, tours of Gozo, and special activitiesfor our guests.
Just get in touch and we'll tell you all you need to know about walks near to your rental property, special events in villages nearby, and other local information.
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