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…

 

SUNRISE.

12-w750This painting is one that took me long hours and many days to complete.  All the varnishes and glitter also make it extremely difficult to photograph.  Who sees it in real life gets a very different feel to it to those who see it on photo. Mostly because it is so huge,  with all the different effects of light it has that it is impossible to photograph it without  loosing its  various effects. I even had a film crew here  who to tried to film it but the result was far from flattering.  This is a painting that breathes. It is a painting that needs to be looked at as one walks across the room  . A painting that has to be seen from far and as you  walk slowly closer and closer to it , it changes  with you. Alas, I do not have such a big space to give it what it deserves so it is lying quietly in my studio.

But what is it about and how did it come along?

‘Sunrise’  is based on a model of Saint George, on our Maltese flag’s George Cross. It is meant to be a Maltese symbol, but as I worked along something changed. Saint George retained his knighthood, but he became the sun, and the dragon he was slaying turned into his incredible  pet tiger and together , they take over  the girl’s dreams waking her up, maybe from her nightmares, who knows. Only Maltese people who have slept on a beach on a hot summer day, and  have experienced the hot sun rays  of  the early summer sun  on their skin can maybe understand what this painting is really about. You know, when the sun is that hot that it burns into your skin like it’s got   claws…

 

The importance of sketching- Images from my sketchbook

galaxy1
drawing on paper
emerald galaxy
drawing on paper

blossoms 2

 

 

There is nothing more important for an artist than a sketchbook.To think I hated sketchbooks up until I graduated. I never was someone to keep a neat one especially because my ideas are so scattered and my love for  large scale canvases has never really helped either.

Nowadays, I never execute a painting with some careful studies. It just is so helpful .

These are  some of the images I have been working on this week . My new intergalactic

people,  Astral travellers I meet during my travels at night.

Will post more images shorty.

 

 

 

About Love again, this time, for my cats.

Anyone who follows me on social media knows I love cats.

I have always had a special relationship with my felines, although some of them are just

headstrong and independent, I cannot help but love them.

These are just some of the paintings  in which I painted my pets, in different forms.

One  can  be a bit perplexed to see a leopard painted and I am saying it is my pet.

But in my world, the world of magical transformation, my cat can turn into a lion, a

leopard and tiger whenever he pleases.

Magic Realism

IMG_1921

This is one of the artworks that has taken me the longest hours.

I had just moved into my studio in Valletta, and wanted to show Valletta through a

different lens.  This painting is about Barrakka Gardens at night.

I had just come over from a long stay in Madrid where I had deepened my

knowledge  of magical,  the surreal and the superstitious.

One thing I had learnt from the Spanish is to be  myself with a passion . I cannot hide the

fact, that nothing left an impact on my persona and my character as the books I read

when I was a child.

Magic realist literature from latin America   strengthened my need of the absurd and

fantastical so I just decided to turn Barrakka Gardens, into a magical garden of fairies ,

cherubs and incredible animals. The garden I painted  is only visible like this to

children  who like Antonio Sciortino’s les Gavroches, are wandering starry eyed at the

marvels around them.