Notte Bianca lost files #1
We are currently working on a proposal for this year’s Notte Bianca (October 1st 2011). While browsing the old posts, we discovered that two entries have been lost. They seem to be removed or deleted somehow from the blog. We are unsure how that happened, but for the sake of the proposal they have to be up again. We apologize for the inconvenience, for those of you who have already read the *lost* entries. Those of you, who haven’t had the opportunity to see what was done last year, please feel free to scroll down and read. We had to re-write the entries as we do not had a copy. Perhaps, its time to actually start saving all the entries.
Our `artisan market` created inside the Old Market building in Valletta was located on the 2nd floor. We have already described the preparations and the odds we have faced with the whole project (bad weather, change of venue etc.). Now it is time to tell you who actually took part in the project and how it presented itself.
The project was named “ZEKZIK U WAHEDHOM” (“Gossips and Loneliness”) and was part of a larger initiative. It was called “Open your He`Art” and had nearly 70 artists involved on numerous sites scattered around Valletta. We have been four artists working together: Malicia and Rita Dabrowicz, Pauleen Micallef and a young and upcoming Polish photographer Artur Michalski. Originally we were supposed to be an all female group. But when Artur arrived in Malta and after seeing his works, it was decided to add him to the bill. He complemented Malicia as a second photographer thus providing a balance in the group.
Let us give a small description of each of us and photos to illustrate the site:
Pauleen from the day zero was a corner stone of the project. Not only she contributed the name but also served as the most experienced member of the group. Pauleen is a professional artist, dance instructor and runs her own atelier. Her creativity and enthusiasm can only match her wisdom. She’s been like a mentor to us and we are sure that without her, this project would not happen.
Pauleen`s idea for Notte Bianca was to present traditional Maltese balconies on large canvases. They have been the base for what we were aiming for – to create a busy street filled with art inside a building and make it look like it was outside not inside. Pauleene`s paintings were hanged in such a way that if you looked from afar, you had an impression of being among real houses.
Among those big pieces, smaller items were positioned to imitate stalls. Some of the canvases featured people peeking through the windows or chatting, and that gave our market a character and a true sense of identity.
Pauleen also had provided an Egyptian mosaic that was hanging in the middle of the 2nd floor dividing it into two sectors. It was truly mesmerizing, as the mosaic was displayed right next to an old shrine that forms a part of the old market.
Working with smaller mediums that Pauleen, Rita was the other leg of the project. She contributed pieces ranging from acrylic and oil paintings, water colour illustrations to hand made pape mache masks.
You have to call Rita a jack of all trades. Each of her artwork was carefully hanged on a coloured fabric (green or orange) between display windows and matched the series of large canvases provided by Pauleene. The variety of artworks was in place as we were hoping to create artisan market with all the variety of products that you can find on a real market.
For the project Rita prepared a series of cat paintings. She said, there would be no artisan market and a lively street if we didn’t have cats. This proved to be a good observation, as at some point of the night we have overheard a conversation between a girl and her mother who visited the exhibition. “Oh, look ma” – the girl said – “There are even cats over there!” Her mother replied: “Of course, dear. There is no Valletta without cats”.
Both Pauleen and Malicia had to agree. We were also very pleased as we managed to create a slice of real life with out installation, and people responded to it.
She may not paint but she definitely sees some striking images via the viewfinder of her Canon cameras. Malicia is known to carry her equipment everywhere she goes. Besides providing a series of photographic prints called “Alene/Alone”, Malicia also served as a force behind the documentation of the whole project. Alongside with Artur , she was representing the photographic craft on the evening.
Malicia`s prints are of abstract nature, she finds patterns and colours where others see obscure and dark places. At Notte Bianca, she was placed at the back of the first section opposite of a display of her twin sister’s abstract art.
Artur arrived to Malta just few weeks before Notte Bianca. He is a co worker of Malicia and her partner in demeanour and mischief around the office and art- related quarrels. Sharing the eye for details and passion for heavy Canon gear, it was only a matter of time before those two would click and started collaborating together on the project. Unlike Malicia, Artur prefers to show objects around as he sees them, be it nature animals or still life.
On Notte Bianca, Artur was responsible for promoting the event among his co-workers and brought a large group to the exhibition. He was acting also as a tour guide around Valletta afterwards.
We hope that this virtual tour gave you an idea how complex and big our exhibition was. The last entry on the topic will be dedicated to our guests and we will peek into our guestbook.