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…

 

Una and the Lion

IMG_2582

Artwork

acrylics, oils , glitter and spray paint on canvas size 200by 200

€7,000.00

 

How did this painting come along?

I have an Italian Gallery  owner  friend of mine, who always comes to my studio and has been telling me- Selina , paint Magic again. Large scale  is your ‘Forte’ , Magic Realism is your Card.

Considering large scale artworks 200 by 200 are so hard to sell on the island , everyone, even local gallerists have been making me forget about the love I have for larger scales. I hesitated for a bit but I decided to listen to his advise.

I spent months walking around Valletta the same path over and over again looking for magic. I knew it had to come from the President’s Palace, I just couldn’t find what or where. I took my son  for a walk for the 1000th time  there and decided to walk into the door to the museum and this time sat down.

And there they lay, those 2 magnificent lions.  Sleeping guarding a door to I don’t know where.

IMG_2547

And it hit me. Valletta’s lion, the spirit animal of it’s inhabitants. The lion king, the symbol of power and truth, which is seen on every emblem on every flag around this tiny city.

Then a few metres away sat a girl reading a book. I closed my eyes and I just could see the lions coming to life  and startle her from the back.

So back home, I sat down and did some research  . In not long I found out about the myth of Una and the Lion and gladly saw that other artists have also painted the subject.

This is a link

https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/5629/una-and-lion

The execution took over 8 months of work and to be able to do it, my son  had to join in for his first apprentice ship.