Malta is being transformed. Everywhere there seems to be building sites, not least round the town where what looks like a sea level deep moat is being excavated and imagined as a new thoroughfare. Perhaps this will be a new walk in from the port, and there will be a lift up to the town, the Tyrone fountain and the bus garage.
Amongst the build there is some great art, and they also have a festival of street art which takes place between the 24th to 26th of March if you are lucky enough to be there at that time. Take a look at the Festival of Street Art and Artist’s Facebook Page for some of the truly incredible Murals there are in Malta. Much of this art is in Sliema which is a short easy bus ride away. Like this one by MTO, there are others on the Street Artists Hub.
Also take a look at the new thought provoking statues symbolising seven Maltese sayings (qwiel). A completely different art form, these are all on pallets so are moved around to different locations and those with no home seem to be stored in Triton Fountain Square, at the opposite side to the bus garage. They are meant to encourage people to reflect on the Maltese language. There were originally seven though we found ten.
Three are still found in Castle Square (donkey, fish, man thinking), one walking down past the first church (onion), walking further there is one beside the the bombed Roman theatre (eye on spoon), one in front of it (Cows) one in town on the way to St John’s (Head which might not be an original) and three at the back of Triton Square (bird in hand, Pig,prickle head). These statues are a contrast to the ancient art of the statues that are also all over Malta. The ones left by the Knights sent to protect and spread the catholic religion. In all, Malta has a history in art and street art, and the artists had their reasons from whatever period. For me, the street art by MTO wins. His man being crushed by development must say different things to different people, but it could be about suppression, society crushing you, or as it is next to a beach it could be about not seeing anothers plight.
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The ‘Kif Jghid Il-Malti’ project is the work of Maltese artists Joel Saliba and Margaret Pace from Ikona Artworks, assisted by Sara-Lee Zammit, Chris Galea and Perry Scenic Ltd.
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