Leni at the Arts Centre
Charcoal on Paper
This painting of one artist drawing another represents friends at work in the Arts Centre. The venue was Mario’s studio and indeed a hub for creators which continues to this day, now managed by his daughter Paulette Finlayson, who runs the Gibraltar Academy of Dance from the premises too. We are immediately struck by the stance of the artist before the easel. Leni Mifsud is depicted very centred and present. Mario Finlayson has constructed a web of crossing and inter-crossing sharp lines of charcoal on the floor, adding depth to the work and creating perspective. This creates the perfect platform on which to stage Leni who can be seen deep in concentration and in action. We know Mario had close relationships with his fellow artists exhibited at the National Gallery, particularly Leni Mifsud and Jacobo Azagury. In the 1930's Leni rented a small studio above Mario’s family home. Mario was 9 years old at the time and would often share his drawings with her and watch her paint. He spoke about his first impressions of Leni at the time "…she has quite a personality, bohemian in her attire and strong-willed." Their relationship grew over the years with the artists known to have continued to share ideas and influences.