Paul Vella Critien

Born in Mosta (Malta) on the 10th February 1960 to Aldo and Marita Neè Tabone.

From childhood I had a passion for drawing, sketching and modelling. I was continually guided and helped to develop a kind of discipline of academic art by my grandfather, the well-known artist Gianni Vella (1885-1977).
At the age of thirteen I was admitted to the Malta School of Art under Censu Apap and Esprit Barthet.
I had completed the full course, obtaining successful results in my annual exam for the high standard of artistic studies in drawing and painting.
From 1974-1977, I completed a full – time course in ceramics under John Bonnici and Gabriel Caruana, receiving the school Diploma.
In 1978, the Education Department recommended me to the Italian Government and awarded me a five-year scholarship to further my studies in Fine Art and to specialise in the art of ceramics and painting. I attended the renowned ” Gaetano Ballardini” Institute of Art and Ceramics, Faenza, (RA).

During my studies in Faenza I had acquired vast experience in theoretical and practical experience with important artists and professors, such as Prof. Angelo Biancini winner of the Venice Biennale-1940 and Premio Faenza in 1957 and in 1964, in Sculpture and design studies, Modelling and Mould Making ; Prof. Guido Mariani (Premio Faenza) in Industrial Design, Decorative and Taditional Design; Prof. Fulvio Ravaioli, Technology of Ceramics, Prof. Mario Tassinari, Throwing and other Ceramic Techniques and Prof. Bernabè for Restoration studies in Ceramics.
In collaboration with the Academy of Fine Art, in Ravenna I studied Painting under Prof. Folli specialising in various artistic techniques such as mural painting, restoration, oils, watercolours, charcoal and chalk. While in Italy I managed to gain vast first-hand experience in artistic and industrial ceramics as I worked at the specialised ceramic studios of Prof. D. Matteucci and Prof. G. Mariani.
I was given the opportunity to work on highly technological and research work in ceramics and paintings. At the end of my course I graduated obtaining the B.A. (Hons) in Ceramics and, two years later my Masters in Fine Arts. I have also received the College Diploma in Ceramic and Painting Restoration.

In 1983, I proceeded to Australia, where I taught art and ceramics at Sunshine Art College, Victoria, where I co-ordinated courses in Art and Ceramics techniques, such as Restoration, Modelling, Throwing, Glazing, Mould making, Serigraphy, Raku Technique, Life Drawing and artistic techniques for adult students.
On my return to Malta in 1988, I was appointed to teach art with the Education Department. For the last sixteen years I have been co-ordinating art courses at advanced, intermediate and ordinary levels. In 1999 I had also been appointed lecturer in ceramics at the Malta Centre for Restoration, Bighi, Malta.
My works of Art are found in many art collections and museums around the world, public places and also in private collections in Italy, Australia, England, Germany and Malta. I have been commissioned to decorate several chapels and altar paintings at Birkirkara, Bidnija and St. Paul’s Bay.

For the last two years I have been working on the millennium ceramic monument, which has been commissioned by the local San Gwann Council to commemorate the beginning of the third millennium, which will be inaugurated later this year. The futuristic monument will be the first of its kind in Malta to be completed in ceramic gres, and will be erected in one of the main roads of San Gwann. This work of art shall be one of the main attractions on the island in the near future. Last September I had a personal exhibition in collaboration with the Council of Faenza where a collection of my recent works were shown at one of the most important palaces, “Loggetta Del Trentanove” in the centre of Faenza, my one-man show was inaugurated by the Florentine Prof. Alfredo Bellendi.

In 2001 I had a collection of my latest ceramic works on show at the foyer of the cultural centre in Novotel hotel, Hamburg West, Germany. This show was inaugurated by Dr. Laszlo Kova, the Director of this centre. Amongst the distinguished guests there were the Consul General for Malta Dr. Techaue and the ex-Consul General for Malta Mr. J. Nuemann. Air Malta was the official sponsors of this show.

Last year The San Gwann local Council had commissioned me to complete a six meter high ceramic monument to commemorate the beginning of the 21st Century. This unique Ceramic Monument will be the first of its kind in our island. It was inaugurated by the Hon. Prime Minister of Malta Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami on the 16th February 2003.