Anastasia Ponyatovskaya Pace, a painter and artist of Polish descent, has been living in Malta for more than 13 years. During these years, her artworks were exhibited in a number of local museums and public spaces, such as the Parliament building in Valletta, Mater Dei Hospital in Msida, Il-Ħaġar Museum in Victoria, Gozo, and Palazzo de Piro in Mdina.

Previously, the artist, who originally studied at the Academy of Arts in Moldova for five years, exhibited her works in other parts of the world, including Russia, Poland and Istanbul.

Anastasia, who bases her artworks on local mythology, legends and fairytales, fell in love with Malta in 2005, when she came to our islands to attend a charity show for Inspire. She has been living in Victoria, Gozo, with her husband and children ever since, and is currently teaching fine arts full-time at the Malta School of Arts in Valletta. Anastasia also accepts commissions for specific works of art by private clients.

At the moment, one can admire some of Anastasia’s most recent works at the Ministry for Gozo’s Exhibition Hall, St. Francis Square, Victoria, Gozo. Anastasia’s solo exhibition, sponsored by the Ministry for Gozo, is entitled ‘Paths’, and is open every day from 8am till 1.00pm between the 2nd and 31st of July.

‘Paths’ is an exhibition predominantly inspired by the local legend of the nymph Calypso. According to Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’, which centres on the adventures of Odysseus, King of Ithaca, Odysseus became shipwrecked on a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, whereby he was found by the beautiful nymph Calypso, who fell in love with him. Calypso was the Goddess of the island Ogygia, which, it is believed, was actually the island of Gozo. One can in fact visit ‘Calypso’s Cave’, which overlooks Ramla Bay and is alleged to be the cave referred to by Homer in The Odyssey. The story goes that the cave is actually the one where the beautiful nymph Calypso kept Odysseus as a “prisoner of love” for seven years.

Anastasia’s sculptures portray Calypso, who, lonely yet powerful, gazes forever at the sea trapped on her small island. The artwork seeks to embody Calypso’s link with the power of nature and the sea, portraying her as an embodiment of the island of Gozo itself. Her hair is flowing like a river and birds, lizards, weasels and sea creatures are threaded through her locks.

The artist’s free-hand style, as well as her use of vibrant colour and mythical subject material, offer a landscape of magical enchantment. For more information about ‘Paths’, please visit – https://www.visitgozo.com/events/paths-original-art-show-at-ministry-for-gozo-rabat-gozo/