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'Myth, Magic and Mystery' - A Ceramic Garden-Sculpture Exhibition by Neville Ferry   Print  E-mail 
Submitted by Artissa Administrator  

Written by E.V. Borg

Torso 1Neville Ferry (1945-) is holding an exhibition of his work: ‘Myth, Magic and Mystery’, a splendid collection of ceramic garden-sculpture (25 pieces) at the Garden of Serenity in Santa Lucia. The Hon. Minister for Urban Development and Roads Mr. Jesmond Mugliett will inaugurate this exhibition on Votive Column (Studio)Friday, 3rd June 2005 at 8.30 p.m. BOV, Valletta Fund Management (VFM), Air Malta, the Ministry for Urban Development and Roads and Santa Lucia Local Council are sponsoring the event while E.V. Borg is the curator and co-ordinator.

The event is highly auspicious as Neville Ferry is donating a two-metre high ceramic sculpture – ‘Votive Column’ to Santa Lucia Local Council. The intention behind this generous donation (16 months of work) is meant to kick-start the sculpture garden planned to enhance the locality’s standing as a garden city, cultural centre and enclave for relaxation – an extension to the Garden of Serenity and a picnic area at Santa Lucia – a haven for serenity, tranquillity, peace and meditation on green grass and to the sound of falling water and fountains.

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Menhir 1 (Back)Neville Ferry was born in Msida, Malta in 1945. After studying at the local School of Art he was awarded a scholarship to study ceramics in U.K. and in October 1971 he was Gifts to the Godsadmitted to Croydon College of Art. After a year there he proceeded to Loughborough College of art and design (1972-75) to specialise in ceramics where he obtained a B.A. (Hons) in Art and Design. The theme of his thesis – Symbolism in African Art – demonstrates his early interest in signs and symbols.

Neville is inspired by megalithic culture, temples and artefacts in Malta, a subject according to the artist that has been very close to his heart over the years. Yet he asserts: ‘I do not attempt to reproduce artefacts or megaliths, but instead I deal with the aura created by these structures’. Neville is after interpretation not mere imitation.

Icon 1At present Neville Ferry teaches art at Bedford School, a public institution where he has had continuous encouragement and vigorous support throughout the last eighteen years (1987-2005) of his career as teacher and artist. The school has acquired several works, two of which stand in Queen’s Garden for the student to appreciate and enjoy. Two other works by the artist stand in the gardens of the Peace Laboratory at Hal Far and in the former School for Arts and Crafts at Targa Gap, Mosta. ‘Votive Column’, a two-metre ceramic sculpture is intended for the planned sculpture garden at Santa LuciaGoddess 3.

The exhibition itself is a special occasion and attraction. As his works will decorate the banks of the artificial lake in the Garden of Serenity, the work of Chinese craftsmen and artists at Santa Lucia. Highlighted with special lighting effects at night under a star-studded sky or saturated by scorching and dazzling sunlight during the day his works are powerful objects in space casting shadows full of evocative suggestion. They are monumental talismans in space surrounded with vegetation, the sound of falling water from fountains and waterfalls and bathed by the changing light of day. In the rarefied atmosphere of these exotic oriental gardens the works should cast a mood rendering this exhibition into an exciting and soothingly attractive event in our cultural calendar.

Goddess 4Shrine 2The exhibition catalogue illustrates most of the work on view. ‘Myth, Magic and Mystery’ printed by PEG, Ltd., contains a critical evaluation by E. V. Borg who has organised four of Ferry’s exhibitions in Malta, 37 illustrations in full colour, a hardcover and dust jacket. The catalogue, poster and invitation are designed and intended to become collectors’ items.

Neville’s work is a fusion of popular and intellectual art, an amalgam of provincial and sophisticated ironic wit and a critical comment on life around us. His satire is so fine, delicate and polished in contrast to the physical roughness of the objects themselves that it is hardly discernible to the novice or casual observer. His tongue-in-cheek is irreverent, caustic and quite provocative.

Neville Ferry
Neville Ferry [Discuss this artist in the forum]
Title: Myth, Magic & Mystery
Venue: Garden of Serenity, Santa Lucia (beside artificial lake)
Inauguration: Friday 3rd June, 2005; 21.30 hours
Inaugurated by: The Hon. Minister Jesmond Mugliett Ministry for Urban Development and Roads
Duration: 3 – 15 June 2005
Opening Hours: 08.30 to 21.30 all week
Sponsors: Bank of Valletta plc, Valletta Fund Management, Air Malta plc, Ministry for Urban Development and Roads, Santa Lucia Local Council
Curator: E. V. Borg
Exhibition Catalogue: Borg, E. V. (2005) ‘Myth, Magic & Mystery – Neville Ferry (1945-)’, PEG Ltd., San Gwann, pp 32 + hard cover & jacket, 37 illustrations in full colour, ISBN 99909-0-414-6

TrophyExhibitions in the U.K. (personal):

  • 1975 Gallery 359, Nottingham, U.K.
  • 1990 Milne Gallery, Bedford, U.K.
  • 1997 Open-Air Gallery, Bedford School, U.K.
  • 1999 Ceramics and Paintings, Foyer, Bedford School, U.K.
  • 2004 Ceramics and paintings, Foyer Gallery, Bedford School, U.K.

Exhibitions in Malta (personal):
  • 1976 ‘Icons of Worship’, Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta, Malta
  • 1983 ‘Neville Ferry/ Jack Taylor’, Gallerija Fenici, Valletta, Malta
  • 1984 ‘Neville Ferry – Ceramics’, Cathedral Museum, Mdina, Malta*
  • 1985 ‘Neville Ferry – Paintings & Drawings’, The Gallery, Malta Union of Teachers, Valletta Malta*
  • 1998 ‘A World Within a World’, Cathedral Museum, Mdina, Malta*
  • 2005 ‘Myth, Magic and Mystery’, Garden of Serenity, Santa Lucia, Malta*
Votive ColumnNote: Exhibitions marked with an asterisk were organised by E. V. Borg


  • Borg, E.V. (1997) ‘Sculptural Strength’, Malta This Month – The In-Flight Magazine of Air Malta, no. 85, April 1997.
  • Borg, E.V. (1998) ‘The Force Within’, Malta This Month – The In-Flight Magazine of Air Malta, no. 104, November 1998, pp. 62-63.
  • Borg, E.V. (2005) ‘Myth, Magic & Mystery’, Malta This Month – The In-Flight Magazine of Air Malta, no. 182, June 2005.


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