HILA (Home to Independence and Limitless Abilities), the CareMalta Group’s specialised care arm, unveiled a collage mounted on wood comprising ceramic works by its clients and artist Rosella Schembri on December 3, which marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

This is part of the Vassallo Group’s Zaren Vasallo Art (ZVART) initiative, launched to celebrate the group’s 75th anniversary this year. Commissioned art pieces have been unveiled at Casa Arkati, Żejtun Home, Dar il-Madonna tal-Mellieħa, Zammit Clapp Hospital Residential Home, Bormla Home and Casa San Paolo.

The Way Forward, completed in August following various discussions and two workshops carried out with Casa Apap Bologna clients and staff, represents the importance of ‘the way forward’ for community-based existence.

“Each individual is important for the success of the whole group. Each one of us has a contribution to make, be it giving or receiving a unique experience,” said the artist at Casa Apap Bologna in Mosta.

HILA, which offers a range of specialised services to persons with disability, mental health conditions, ALS and other motor neuron diseases, also operates Dar Bjorn in Qormi and Casal Nuovo in Paola.

Schembri added: “I strongly believe in empowerment because every person has a unique gift to give. We all need to recognise this gift and ensure that it is fully utilised, so that the giver can experience the satisfaction of having contributed towards the success of the community.”

The collage is a representation of the important life experiences of Casa Apap Bologna clients. Each participant was given the opportunity to express thoughts they are most comfortable with and assisted with creating a representation of that feeling.

“The workshops were a good environment where the supply of the materials and tools enabled the makers to produce pieces of ceramic value and to also experience the therapeutic element that clay gives us all.”

Schembri’s clay experience started in 1994. In 2011, she opened Space for Clay pottery studio, where people can enjoy working with clay.

“This medium is versatile and each person can develop at their own pace and objective. I believe that the mind can be inquisitive and creative with clay since the end piece can be further developed or reused.”