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by JOSIANNE FACCHETTI
Raphael Labro, winner of the Malta International Arts Biennale 2009, is a French artist who lived all over the world before settling down in Gharb, Gozo. He says that Gozo is the ideal place for an artist to live and paint in. He became attracted to this island especially because of the Megalithic temples and the peaceful lifestyle. All these aspects are reflected in his exhibition of paintings entitled Gozopolitana the Rebirth, which can be viewed at 39, Mrabat Street, Sliema until 21 January from 7.30pm onwards. Only by appointment +356 9949 6830 Labro’s paintings are centred round the goddess of fertility – the sleeping lady. However, in his paintings the goddess is depicted in various postures – standing, running, upside down, sitting and partially hidden – she is colourful, living and happy. She is sometimes depicted in oriental and sometimes western features, but she is still the same goddess “dreaming for the world”. According to Labro we need spirits like the goddess for the well-being of the world.
Labro says it is a pleasure to paint and get involved with this goddess. He uses a combination of Proto Sanskrit, Egyptology and his own invented script as background in some of his paintings. The Proto Sanskrit that he depicts comes from a tablet, which was discovered in Hagar Qim 25 years ago by Dr Hubert Zeitlmair.
Labro uses a type of course crystal material which he mixes with paint to achieve a harsh shiny effect for the abstract paintings. While he uses fine mica stones, which have a finer shiny effect similar to very fine sand, for the black and white paintings of the goddess. He uses a knife or his fingers to paint and only uses a brush when there are fine lines to draw. Some of Labro’s paintings are abstract made from a whirl of bright vibrant colours mainly blue, gold, red and orange, but on looking closer the half hidden face of a female watching, can be seen. He says he uses vibrant colours to capture the spirits which watch and look after us
Raphael Labro wants to take the viewer to a dream through his paintings, back to the past but also to the future by the use of the new colourful graphics he uses when painting the goddess in black and white. The dream is of the goddess of fertility that takes us back to Atlantis 12,000 years ago when Malta, according to Dr Anton Mifsud and other researchers, was part of Atlantis. At this time Malta was joined to Africa and Italy. Labro believes that the temples were built on the sacred mountain of Atlantis. Highly evolved people used sacred geometry, the architecture of the universe, to build the temples. These were built in alignment with the star constellation Orion and Sirius. This is proof that the temples are much older than the estimated 2500 to 4500 BC and that they were built by people of much higher mental and spiritual power than the ones that arrived 6,000 years ago. After the oceans rose the Mediterranean basin was flooded, however Malta which held the sacred and powerful temples was not submerged.
According to Labro the people taking care of the temples 12,000 years ago were a few belonging to a cult centred round the temple and the goddess. These people are a lost civilisation of high scientific and spiritual achievement having the ability to live in the sixth dimension. Later for some unknown reason these people regressed, disappeared or got wiped out. The general believe is that the temples in Malta are about 6,000 years old, but Labro and other researchers say that they are much older and only after the advanced civilisation was lost did squatters live there 6,000 years ago. This is a subject that has only been touched on the surface and there is still much more to be researched and discovered.
For some years now when Raphael Labro has a white canvas in front of him, he paints the goddess because he feels that the goddess is asking to return and feels a compulsion to paint her. “Most of the time when I start something, I think I am directed actually.” Similarly, all over the world lots of artists are painting the goddess. Labro says that he feels that soon the world will again be made up of matriarchal societies as we are reaching the end of the patriarchal dominance.
Rafael Labro believes in what he paints because he says that he has experienced it through astral travelling. He says that he has been to the past and knows what it is like. He does astral traveling only with the help of a highly spiritual master. Astral travelling means having out of the body experience. He has traveled to the past and the future through this method and has experienced going into other different dimensions.
Rafael Labro paints with a strong conviction. This can be seen in his large paintings where he uses bold lines and brilliant mesmerising colours. He has studied and reflected deeply on his subject matter and is very familiar with it. He wants to open people’s consciousness through his paintings, taking viewers back to the rebirth of the spiritual knowledge that has been lost throughout the long years of greed, ignorance and materialism. Labro’s paintings are not only a pleasure to look at but are also much deeper than that. They take us to the mystery and beauty of our past and give hope to an enlightened future.
© Josianne Facchetti 2010
Independent Malta published on the 10th January 2010
Follow Raphael Labro’s work on TWITTER http://twitter.com/raphael_labro
Special thanks to Glorianna, Josianne Facchetti and Marilyn Hodgson