Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, in collaboration with Valletta 2018, the Malta Maritime Museum (Heritage Malta) and artist/curator Raphael Vella, is once again launching the Divergent Thinkers project, which is an innovative exhibition about the “brainstorming” mental processes involved in the creation of works of art.

Divergent Thinkers seeks contemporary artistic practices by young Maltese artists that explore divergent thinking, which is generally defined as a creative process through which one investigates various possible solutions to a problem or alternative ways of dealing with an issue. Young, contemporary artists typically work in a variety of media or search for innovative ways of expressing concepts, and this creative process often involves a period of divergent thinking or “brainstorming”, during which the artist explores several different and even unexpected outcomes in drawings, photographs, journals, videos, objects and other materials. Most art exhibitions generally do not show the thinking process itself, but focus only on the last stage of this process – the end-product that emerges after the artist’s mind converges to a final idea.

‘Divergent Thinkers’ wants to celebrate the spontaneity and excitement of young, innovative thought processes by exhibiting works, concepts, drawings and other objects that show that a specific creative problem can be resolved successfully in many, different and even unusual ways.

For this year’s edition (2016), we are focusing on mobility, travelling, flux and exchanges between different people. Interested artists are being asked to respond to this year’s call by engaging with the word NAVIGATE. The notion of ‘navigation’ is being understood broadly, incorporating traditional maritime and also other forms of travel, cartography, intellectual, virtual and material exchanges and more metaphoric interpretations of voyages and contacts with unfamiliar people and lands. Proposals can be for a series of works, a single work and/or documentation in any medium that expresses a sense of connection or a social process leading to negotiated understandings (or even misunderstandings).

Proposals should include information about the project’s relation to the word NAVIGATE as well as sketches or photos related to the proposed ideas and/or works. Artists should not send in photos of previously exhibited or finished works. Accepted proposals will be developed into new work by selected artists, who will also be expected to attend a number of group meetings with the curator that will take place in the run-up to the exhibition. In the case of proposals involving two or more artists, a single project leader should be nominated and clearly referred to as such in the proposal. Should this proposal eventually win the ‘Divergent Thinkers’ prize, only this project leader will benefit from the prize.

Young artists between the age of 20 and 30 should bring proposals to be considered for this exhibition by noon, Tuesday, 3rd May, 2016 to Aġenzija Żgħażagħ. All artists who bring in proposals will be informed of the outcome by Tuesday, 24th May, 2016. Selected artists will receive an honorarium and will participate in a curated exhibition opening on Thursday 20th October, 2016 at the Malta Maritime Museum in Birgu. The exhibition will last until Friday, 18th November, 2016. The works will be included in an illustrated catalogue accompanying the exhibition. The artist with the best work will be awarded with a month-long residency at Youkobo Art Space in Tokyo, Japan in August, 2017. The prize will cover expenses for flight, accommodation, studio space and an honorarium, and the selected artist will also be able to organise a small exhibition at Youkobo Art Space at the end of his/her stay.

No limits are set in relation to medium, dimensions, artistic approach or number of artists to be included. All material included in the application will be retained by the organisers and cannot be returned to the artist. The selected artists have to participate in public presentations and/or workshops during the exhibition.

To download the Application Form please click here

For more information kindly contact Aġenzija Żgħażagħ on 22586700 or on agenzija.zghazagh@gov.mt