Events
‘Beyond Flawless’ – New exhibition calling for a more empathetic world now at Phoenicia Malta
The exhibition will last till the end of February!

Emma Galea

A German artist and model who has made Malta her home, is showcasing paintings in her debut solo exhibition that is a commentary about flawlessness in general and the female form in particular.

Twenty-seven-year-old Lena Maria Ludes showed a talent for painting from a tender age and attended art lessons for several years; this enabled her to pursue her talent while also learning valuable lessons in artistic creation.

Beyond Flawless’

After graduating from high school, Lena read for a degree in fashion design in Düsseldorf, Germany. Having worked in the fashion industry for several years, she decided to turn her passion for painting into a profession and is pleased to be able to showcase her art to a vast audience, an art that is revealing of her interests.

Beyond Flawless’

In this exhibition one can view a series of paintings of women, or so they seem at first glance. On closer inspection, one realises that these women are largely artificial, with chrome faces and bodies, taking on the semblance of robots. Lena has often felt that it is only by being artificial that perfection may be sought, since a human being is naturally imperfect, or flawed. Hence the title of the exhibition, ‘Beyond Flawless: Embracing the Imperfect Beauty of Humanity’.

Her aim in bringing this collection together is to recognise - but also appreciate and celebrate - what may be considered to be physical imperfections that are inherent to every human being. The difference is how one perceives such ‘imperfections’ that are often seen as weaknesses and which, rather, one should not be ashamed of.

Being a fashion model herself, Lena has experienced the pressure of needing to be perfect: “I wanted to address precisely this topic because I have often felt pressured myself in some situations by society's striving for perfection”.

Beyond Flawless’

In fact, the motivating force behind this solo exhibition is rooted in several perceptions that Lena has observed and which she has consolidated into five points: promoting authenticity, challenging societal constraints, celebrating diversity, fostering resilience, and finally, emphasising growth and learning. She goes on to describe these points as such:

Promoting authenticity: in a world where perfection is often emphasised, whether in terms of appearance, achievements or lifestyle, there is a growing movement to promote authenticity. Accepting imperfections can be seen as a way to foster genuine connections and present a more realistic and believable image of humanity.

Challenging societal constraints: Societal norms and expectations can put intense pressure on individuals to conform to an ideal. The motivation behind this is to challenge such unrealistic standards and encourage people to embrace their unique qualities rather than strive for an unattainable perfection.

Celebrating diversity: Imperfections can be seen as a form of diversity that brings out the unique qualities that make up each person. The motivation is to celebrate this diversity and promote a more inclusive and compassionate society that values differences.

Fostering resilience: Accepting imperfections can also be seen as a way to strengthen resilience. By acknowledging and learning from mistakes, setbacks and weaknesses, individuals can develop a stronger sense of their own strength.

Emphasize growth and learning: Imperfections often go hand in hand with growth and learning experiences. That is, shifting the focus from viewing failures as failures, to viewing failures as opportunities for personal and collective growth.

Beyond Flawless

Ultimately, events like this exhibition ‘Beyond Flawless’, is meant to serve as a call for a more compassionate, understanding and empathetic world that recognises the beauty of imperfection and appreciates humanity, which is, after all, what connects us all.

Female artists have tackled issues of body image in the past, and many still are. They have been challenging how the female form is portrayed in art, since it has in the past been conceived for voyeurism. Lena Maria Ludes is continuing this conversation that is still relevant and pertinent, and which coming from a female artist and model is in itself bold and hopes to not fall on deaf ears. The paintings’ impact is further emphasised by the scale of each painting which are quite large.

Being herself young and active on social media - well aware of its power to condition our thoughts, wants and needs - where a lot of the above mentioned perceptions unfurl, she hopes to leave an impression of at least one person. Change, after all, begins with one little step.

"Beyond Flawless” is curated by Dr Charlene Vella and will be open at the Phoenicia Malta’s Palm Court Lounge from 1st to 28th February 2024.

 

3rd February 2024


Emma Galea
Written by
Emma Galea
Emma is a Gozitan writer who loves all things related to English literature and history. When not busy studying or writing you will either find her immersed in a fictional book or at the cinema trying to watch as many films as she possibly can!

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