John Grech’s first solo exhibition in 2005 proved to be a watershed in his artistic life. Although far from being the birth of his passion for the art, this event verified that his serious, long standing search and exploration of the artistic medium had its own voice.
As a photographer, Grech’s repertoire of interests is richly diversified. In his work, he has explored themes such as the landscape, the nude, the abstract and dance. Although they can be perceived as four separate categories, there is a thread which runs through and connects many pieces of Grech’s work. In fact, it is precisely these divisions that Grech eschews. There is no separation in the treatment of his landscapes, nudes, and his dance images, for all flirt, at times very intimately, with the abstract idiom which the photographer has used to produce some of his most poetic pieces. What distinguishes Grech’s work is its suggestiveness, to establish contact not between the image and the viewer’s eyes, but between the “soul” of the image and the viewer’s. Perhaps like many artists, he is researching his own soul and this can be vividly seen in the treatment of his subjects, and his form of connecting with his audience.
Grech is one of the foremost visual artists to work in and for the dance scene in Malta. That his lens should gravitate towards this discipline was a natural development, which stemmed from his exploration of the nude figure. The photographer’s love of the language of the body leaps out of his images in both his nudes and dance works. The artist’s theatrical experience and education in philosophy, have certainly helped to mold his work.
Exhibitions: John Grech’s work has been exhibited in a number of venues in Malta, Mexico and Belgium. The most recent, in 2017, at the Council of the European Union in Brussels, on the occasion of Malta’s Presidency of the EU.
Publications: In 2007, he published Particles of Fate, a book of poetry in which he produced images that provide an alternative dimension to the themes explored in Lino Buhagiar’s poems.
Collaborations: Grech has worked with a number of major local artists and international dance artists and choreographers.
Videography: He has collaborated with Malta’s national dance company ZfinMalta and created the photography and videography for the first opera in Maltese, Reuben Pace’s Il-Kantilena, which was presented at the Malta National Theatre in December 2014.
Education: For the past 10 years, John Grech has been holding a number of courses and workshops for students and adults.