AMuSE (Artistic Multi Sensorial Experiences) was a project led by Malta’s oldest arts organisation, the MSA, presenting new creative readings on the sense of sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing through various interpretations in the realm of visual arts. The artistic research of this project promoted the integration of the senses into the process of art-making. The artistic director of this project was Roderick Camilleri and the project leader was Joe Scerri.
The project was selected by the European Commission, placing 27th out of 430 eligible applications. It obtained funding alongside another 65 projects within the Creative Europe Culture Sub-programme (2014-2020).
AMuSE created a platform for transnational mobility between emerging and promising artists. The project took the form of a consortium made up of four partners with a background in art, culture, cultural tourism and creative industries from four European countries. Through the artistic research executed during the artist residencies, the four partners provided new research in inter-sensorial forms of art and culture. The research integrated visual arts with applied arts and local traditions.
The consortium was made up of the following institutions:
- Malta Society of Arts – Leading Partner (Malta)
- Le Terre dei Savoia Association (Italy)
- Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen (the Netherlands)
- Dusetos Culture Center / Art Gallery (Lithuania)
Furthermore, the project developed new audiences, stimulating new interest in the aesthetic of the senses, helping cultural organisations, engaging with different audiences, promoting emergent artists and increasing international collaborations.
First Artist in Residency - Savigliano, Italy
This first residency was held in Piedmont (Italy), hosted by Le Terre dei Savoia Association at MÚSES in Savigliano, between the 12 March and the 30 March 2018. It focused on the natural heritage and cultural materiality found in Piedmont, giving special attention to the Organic aspect. The residency provided a platform and creative programme for 7 of the 16 selected artists. These artists had the opportunity to explore galleries and cultural/artistic spaces and had workshops by leading curators based in Turin. By the end of the mobility, the artists created a series of multisensorial work showcased at MÚSES.
Second Artist in Residency - Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
The second residency was held in Friesland, hosted by Hanze University of Applied Arts at Academy of Pop Culture in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands from the 13 September 2018 till the 3 October 2018. It revolved around the traditional and creative features characterised by the Man-Made aspects of Leeuwarden. 9 of the 16 selected artists had the opportunity to explore the cultural context and artistic heritage of the European Capital of Culture 2018 (Leeuwarden). The artists participated in a number of activities such as formal workshops, cultural tours and discussions with established artists such as Joop Mulder. Moreover, they had the opportunity to research and exhibit their work during the expo opening, held at the end of the residency.
Third Artist in Residency - Dusetos, Lithuania
The third artist-in-residency was hosted by Dusetos Art Gallery, Lithuania between the 23 April and 13 May 2019. This residency sought to unravel underlying Traces and aspects of Lithuanian heritage, as expressed through folklore and customs. 11 of the 16 participants were residing at ‘Inventors Valley’, Antaliepte to conduct artistic research and creative work.
The artists attended various workshops with different artistic groups and had the opportunity to visit main art sites such as the CAC in Vilnius and the MO Museum, amongst others. By the end of the mobility, the artists showcased their work in a final exhibition at Dusetos Art Gallery.
Organic Man-Made Traces
Fourth Artist in Residency - Valletta, Malta
The final mobility of AMuSE was held in Malta, hosted by the leading partner - the Malta Society of Arts, in September 2019. This residency saw its culmination through three main events: Peal - a synchronised church bell ringing performance, SensitIV - an interactive concert, and Organic Man-Made Traces - final exhibition.
The first event, Peal, brought together various churches of the Grand Harbour (Cospicua, Senglea & Vittoriosa). It included the participation of 25 ringers and a Master Ringer, led by campanologist Kenneth Cauchi. This unique event was the first of its kind, given that it synchronised the percussive sound of all the major bells of the churches situated in the Grand Harbour.
Organic Man-Made Traces, the final exhibition, consisted of a constellation of artistic works that were created during the previous artist-in-residencies in the three European partner countries – the Associazione Le Terre dei Savoia (Italy), Hanze University of Applied Sciences (the Netherlands) and Dusetos Cultural Centre (Lithuania). The month-long show was divided into three sections according to the themes that emerged during the country-specific artist residencies: Organic, Man-Made and Traces. The three themes merged into a single exhibition with the underlying themes of the community, and the ideological and cultural contexts that form aspects of the European identity, all under the umbrella theme of multisensoriality.
The third event, SensitIV, consisted of an interactive concert by the Goldberg Ensemble, led by Maestro Michael Laus and with a composition by Christopher Muscat. The performance has elements of aleatoric music and was divided into four movements: Locus Iste (solo s, satb choir and percussion), Loop the Loop (marimba and live looping), Akva (piano and live electronics) and Pavan (viola, choir, piano and percussion). This unique performance made use of different areas of the Palazzo de la Salle, Valletta.