The person I have to thank for this incredible journey in my career is Ramona Depares.
Sometimes it just takes a well wishing person to recommend you for a project that could
potentially change your life and everything you have dedicated your life for, finally
starts to make sense.
I have been painting non stop for years now, and have always taken a stand for the
impossible being possible. Transformation and magical happenings have always been at
the centre of my existence since I was a child. Having always rejected the intellectual
aesthetic of contemporary art and having opted for folklore and outsiders as the artists
I mostly respect, my artwork has always been a bit of a puzzle as to where it should be
classified. It doesn’t fit in any category. I cannot be an outsider artist because I studied
art at one of the best colleges in the world and I cannot be a contemporary artist as I
paint fairies and animals with human performative characteristics.
But here came this opportunity, to make a 23 metre installation for Embassy Shopping
Complex and Cinemas. The only way I knew I could pull something like this off was by
painting and applying colour with my own hands. I decided to apply the same concepts
of layering and transparencies on this installation as I do on my canvases. And finally I
can say I made a magical 3 dimensional contemporary artwork. It took me over 25 years
to be able to get to this point . This project required mathematical calculations, painting
sewing, ironing , hanging and organisation . It was much harder than I ever imagined.
Everything else in my life had to come to a halt to be able to meet the deadlines
This was the statement of the work
- Inhale and Exhale Colour is an installation designed to create an ethereal feeling of a magical colourful aura, that moves with the wind ,creating a tickling tunnel of colour as if a passage to another dimension against the buildings of Valletta.
- Strips of non woven fabric are dyed and spray painted one by one to create unique tones of colour moving from dark to light in order to create a sense of space.
- The transparency of the fabric against sunlight plays on the interaction of multiple primary colour layers that overlap to create a playful installation, offering a respite from the hectic city life right in the centre of Valletta.
Apart from the impossibility of it’s scale, the time frame was crazy. I had to finish
everything in 2 weeks. I can safely say that I did not sleep at all during those 2 weeks.
I had managed to finish everything it is true but I panicked towards the end of the last
day and thankfully Embassy’s management agreed to give me an extension of a couple of
days.I didn’t sleep at all either but at least I had time to review every single piece.
Embassy’s management was truly the best partner I have ever had. Understanding
careful and professional , had it been another manager not Chris Borg, I really doubt we
would have managed to see the end of the whole thing.
So many great people I met as well . My love for Valletta got even bigger when I met the
installation team who were such loving good people. Artists in their own right
these people showed great dedication to art , folklore and culture. They were truly
patient and professional in their work.
But the biggest thank you has to go to my parents and my brother who showed me full
support, helped me in every way they could and even lost sleep with me.
To cut a long story short, this was not the work of just one person but of a whole team of
dedicated people and professionals.
#Colourvalletta is a true celebration of our amazing Capital of Culture , and the
incredible people, who work with love and dedication to make this city an amazing
place. It is very hard for people from outside to understand or ever come close to the
great simplicity of the people who live in this city. Our way is our own way and I am
very happy to having been able to colour the City I love so much with my palette.
And just to end this post on a more positive note- It just feels great seeing people taking
photos and selfies with my work. Public art is truly rewarding.
The following videos are a glimpse of the process…