Inhale light Exhale #ColoursValletta

Colourselina

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…

 

About being Quixotic.

 

 

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I always wanted to be an artist because I was good at drawing and I used to think that it would have made me rich. Hate me or love me for it, I had always been motivated by the big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Little did I know that  one can get lost on rainbows.

Seems like  I  underestimated myself.  Dedicating my life to the brush and colours  made me become this quixotic natured  artist.  I sometimes hate myself for being so idealistic and chivalrous but I really can’t help it. And although I try to kid myself that I am in this game for the money, I just am not….

This  is an old painting of mine. It is called Ghost. The girl in the picture is my aunt. She killed herself at the age of 32. She was beautiful to look at, but her life was marred by tragedy ,loss, disease and heart break. I was 17 when she passed away. People still look at me and say to me that I look like her. It doesn’t bother me at all. She was so beautiful.

She is the biggest regret in my life. I feel that I could have saved her if I  had shown a bit more love. She was so misunderstood and so unlucky. Even her wedding day, was a spectacle to forget. She  married out of despair and had such a horrid little poor gathering ,not even her wedding dress was nice. She so deserved much more than life had offered her.

So I decided to paint her in a wonderful wedding dress, with swans and angles looking down on her, with lovely flowers in her hair among the stars and she loves it. This is my gift of love to her spirit watching over me.

This is the great thing about being an artist. Sometimes you can do things you wish you could have done  and heal a wound. Sometimes you can show love in a way you could have never been able to express in words or actions.

 

 

 

 

On Being An Artist and a Mother

 

 

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I am not a great writer and will never be,  but I still am going to use the power of the internet and jot down in words how it feels to be a mother and an artist other than my colourful artworks.

It feels AMAZING .

Yes it is wonderful being the mother of such an amazing child and yes I do not have as much time as I used to  to paint, but the few minutes I  do, are more powerful than ever before.

I would  also like to take the opportunity to say thank you in this post.

I want to thank my amazing mother and father for giving me ongoing support and for loving  their grandson so much.

I also would like to thank my friends who have given me support in hard times  .

I would also like to thank the people who tried to destroy me and ravage all my work and efforts when they found me weak and unable to defend myself. You have showed me a side of  humanity that I didn’t know existed and I dedicate the above painting to you.

Your lies, your deceit, your masterplan in making me look bad and destroy my family when I was pregnant and when I had just given birth  just made me stronger.

This artwork is about  just that- The inner strength, the magic and the powerful force of nature that I had to summon in order to come back and gather the strength to come back  and be who I am – a lion.

Thank you