Jonathan Vella

Local artist and designer Jonathan Vella, comes from both an artistic field and a technical one. His work ranges from physically handcrafted artworks, to digitally rendered 3D models and computer generated animations.

During The Trail he will be explaining the process behind his digital work, which mainly includes architectural structures and vintage products. Jonathan will also be demonstrating the technique behind his newly discovered passion for quilling and paper sculptures, and you will have the opportunity to personalise your own work of art – which you get to keep! Besides this, as visitors you will get the chance to win one of his artworks by taking part in a simple competition. Jonathan will show you how he merges his digital skills together with his handcrafted work. He also has a new brand called Ampuletta.

Jonathan’s art revolves around his love for his home country, Malta, and his childhood memories. Born, raised and still living in one of Malta’s oldest cities, Żebbuġ, where traditional architecture and vintage Maltese cultural elements still outweigh the fast-paced progress which is fast spreading across this beautiful island, he is aware that eventually his memories will be just that – memories. Therefore, by applying his 3D modelling skills to digitally build heritage structures and vintage products dating back to the post WW2 era, or handcrafting unique Maltese traditional tiles out of paper, he feels that he is preserving these elements from their inevitable fate.

“I believe that in today’s world, change is inevitable.” says Jonathan. “Therefore, instead of trying to fight it, I have learned to accept and embrace it. As a creative person I am taking advantage of technology by making use of digital programs to build 3D models which can be printed by sophisticated machines. On the other hand, while technology has made reproduction of artworks cheap and easy, my handcrafted paper sculptures require a more personal touch. In my opinion, this balance is what keeps my work fresh and attractive.”

When I first discovered digital artist Jonathan Vella’s art, I was intrigued by the two-dimensional images: striking paper-white contours of landmass and dramatic architecture which stood out against lightly undulating sky-blue sea, as if reflecting pure midsummer sunshine. I took the time to watch a video he has recently produced which took 5688 frames and over 1029 hours – the finished film was 4.30 minutes of wow factor for anyone who has visited Malta or Valletta. It put me in mind of the opening sequences of Game of Thrones, much of which was shot in the Maltese archipelago including by Gozo’s now-fallen Azure Window. With stark layers of the passing of time presented in a modern format, this piece offers an interesting vision of how today’s cityscape would look if the sixteenth century struggles between sword and scimitar had gone the Ottomans’ way.” – says art writer Esther Lafferty.