Visual artist Jesmond Vassallo will be giving a talk about William Blake’s art of print-making, as part of the Campus Book Festival, on Wednesday 21 March at 1 pm, and again on Friday at 9 am, at the University quadrangle.

Vassallo is well-known in the local art scene for his experimental work with different printing techniques. Last year he launched Lithos, a collaboration between artists and scientists with the aim of creating a new body of research in original print-making in the local contemporary context. This research seeks to locate the appropriate substrata from the Maltese geology, to investigate their properties and test their lithographic propensity. In November he collaborated with fellow artist Roderick Camilleri on an extensive exhibition of prints by international artists at the Malta Society of Arts.

In his presentation, Vassallo will explain the techniques used by Blake in his famous Songs of Innocence and Experience series, accompanied by a slideshow illustrating the different stages in the process of printing. Right from his earliest childhood, Blake was driven by two extraordinary and powerful aspirations: poetry and art. So how was he going to bring these two together in a form that would enable him to publish his own images in illustration of his poems?

University students and interested members of the public are invited to attend and learn about William Blake’s unique personality and his achievements, in particular as to how he used his knowledge of engraving to combine his aspirations as a poet and an artist.

The Campus Book Festival is organised by the National Book Council and the Għaqda tal-Malti and will happen between March 21 and 23, kicking off daily at 9.00 am with back-to-back activities planned until 4.00 pm. On Friday the activities will continue until late. The Festival aims to promote literature while giving publishers and book distributors a platform to sell and promote their publications. The Festival’s programme is vast and offers a wide range of events to suit many interests, from book launches and talks to film screenings, workshops and live music.

For more information about Vassallo’s presentation and the Campus Book Festival 2018, visit the National Book Council’s website and Facebook page. The full programme can be downloaded here.

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