Making art allows me to explore a long-held fascination with the curious, esoteric and uncanny in our everyday lives – when the familiar becomes unfamiliar, when we look and are looked at, speculation, suggestion and second guessing – and how all of this is experienced, recorded and recalled.

Daily life in British suburbia, my Maltese roots and ideas around presence and absence, invasion and evasion, protection, surveillance, identity, intimacy and the space between our public and private lives shapes my work. Snatched glimpses, fleeting images, murmurs, memories and a sensation of constant flux all leave their mark.

Whether combining automatic techniques with a controlled hand, exploring the effects of construction, destruction and reconstruction or experimenting with notions of unfinished, interrupted or damaged work, my practice plays with both figurative and abstract approaches, often settling in a space in-between.

Figurative work presents characters, personas and alter-egos in transient encounters, sticky situations and playful reverie that prompt further narratives and interpretations to emerge. Abstract work take further cues from the human body and its environment, as line and colour mark, stain, clash and confront their space.

An award-winning, cross-disciplinary artist, my practice incorporates drawing, painting, collage, photography, video, sound, sculpture, installation, book arts and performance, with work being exhibited across the UK and around the world. To date, my work is held in private collections in the UK, Malta, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada and Australia. 

I am also a qualified tutor and founder and managing director of The Fine Art Room – a UK-based art school offering weekly courses across London and abroad. I enjoy teaching art classes to students of all ages where I encourage them to discover, explore and develop their own ideas and practice.

Mario Lautier Vella

Photo: David Vella-Shaw