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What’s Bugging You? A ceramics exhibition by Ioulia Chante

31 May | 9:00 am - 15 June | 7:00 pm

What’s Bugging You?

A ceramics exhibition by Ioulia Chante

‘What’s Bugging You?’ presents a visual narrative of emotions and fears that derive from the exhilarating rhythms of contemporary society. Balancing between functionalism and surrealism, Ioulia Chante’s exploration of the human psyche through ceramics, aims to give matter to everyday mental struggles, in a seemingly functional and familiar settings.

Curatorial Consultation: Sarah Chircop

Exhibition Design: Noura Abdelhafidh

Graphic Design: Stelios Ypsilantis

Video interview: Neo Borg Bonaci



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Extended description:

In the frenetic pulse of contemporary society, emotions and fears weave a complex tapestry, each thread intertwined with the accelerating rhythms of our existence. Through ‘What’s Bugging You,’ Ioulia Chante unveils a deeply personal narrative, a lyrical journey into the recesses of the human psyche.

Navigating the delicate balance between functionalism and surrealism, Chante’s artistic journey transcends the ordinary, breathing life into the intangible essence of our innermost struggles. With deft strokes and sculpted forms, she invites us to traverse the landscapes of our subconscious, where fears and emotions dance in silent dialogue.

In this captivating tableau, everyday scenes are transformed into portals of introspection, each familiar setting imbued with layers of meaning and metaphor. Chante’s work becomes a mirror, reflecting the universal truths that bind us all—our shared experiences, our hidden anxieties, our deepest desires/fears.


Ioulia Chante is a Malta-based architect and ceramist whose artistic practice centers around product design utilizing clay as the primary medium.

Her academic background has always revolved around engineering, functionality, and detailing. Her architectural background in construction motivated her to explore alternative materials to realize her vision for crafts within architecture.

Transitioning from her established career as an architect to embrace the full-time dedication required of a ceramist, Ioulia’s work delicately navigates the realms of form, material, and texture. Drawing deep inspiration from the natural world, her creations oscillate between realism and surrealism, bringing a captivating ‘monster world’ into tangible existence.

Combining functional structures and forms with surrealistic features, Ioulia aims to provide commentary on contemporary society through scenographic storytelling using everyday objects that reflect contemporary human conditions.


Sarah Chircop (b.1993) is a Malta-based curator whose trajectory in the creative and culture sectors began eight years ago. She has led and supported various visual art and research projects, taking on various roles as coordinator, writer, researcher, editor, and maker.

Her research and practice consciously meander between roles – an attempt to blur boundaries and shift peripheries, whilst practising a reflective and refractive methodology. Her work aims to seek new narratives, investigating points of convergence and divergence. An exploration facilitated by play and a commitment to a porous state of vulnerability.

Curatorially, she is interested in a discourse that is motivated and developed through collaboration and experimental work. Her recent projects include Rebecca Bonaci’s first solo exhibition, ‘ġuf’, reflecting on identity, the social position of women, and how the cultural norms and expectations associated with motherhood have changed over time. At her current workplace Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Matli, she recently curated IN SEARCH OF LINE which explored the open nature, complexity and transformation of the line on the page as well as in time and space. In both instances, she contributed texts to their respective publications, and was actively involved in the creative production process; an area of growing interest.


Noura was born and raised in Tunis and has been based in Malta since 2017.

Noura is an architect, multidisciplinary designer and independent illustrator with a special interest for interiors and exhibition design.

In 2022, Noura held her first personal exhibition ”hot-line” at Il-Lokal (Valletta, Malta) with a selection of single-lined original illustrations of the summer season.

Noura has also always been actively interested in the role of design/art/architecture in articulating social changes and guaranteeing human rights. This shows in both her illustrations, and her experiences in social and/artistic events such as The Ordinary Lives of Women, an exhibition presenting works from ten international female artists (January 2022) around the value of women’s everyday contribution to humanity.


Friday 31 May at 7pm

Exhibition Dates
Saturday 1 June to Saturday 15 June 2024


Basement Vaults of the Malta Society of Arts,
Palazzo de La Salle, 219, Republic Street, Valletta

Opening Hours

Mondays to Fridays: 9am to 7pm
Saturday 1 & 8 June: 10am to 5pm
Sunday 2 & 9 June: 12am to 4pm

Entrance Fee



31 May | 9:00 am
15 June | 7:00 pm


Palazzo de La Salle
Republic Street
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