First update after Notte Bianca

First update after Notte Bianca.

Photo by Mal

We had to give ourselves few days off after the event, before we would post final notes. First of all – we had to sleep it off. After 16 hour on our feet, we have been sleeping like house cats in winter. We came to Valletta at 10:00 am and left at 3:00 am. In between we have settled up the exhibition, promoted it and entertained around 700 guests that had passed through out spot.

As you know due to the weather (and other conditions) we had to change the location. We were re-located to the inside of the Old Market in Valletta and took over the 2nd floor. By doing this, we have accomplished something that haven’t been done before. We have found a new exhibition spot in the capital. Checking new grounds- that what we like.

During the night we have taken tons of photos, so please give us additional few days to run through them and edit the raw files.

But let us tell you how the last hours before the Day Zero and early morning of 25th of September looked like. Cause it was one big adventure.

The evening of 24th of September was spent on closing all the lose ends in preparations. We have cut the fabric (try to run though 50 meters of fabric in two colours and cut it in equal parts, not easy!), made hooks on which the paintings would hang and prepared the poster. Letters were first drawn on the paper, coloured with luminous acrylics, then cut off and glued onto a new sheet.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Then everything had been packed in the boxes (we are proud to report that nothing had been cracking while packing) and bags. Fabric had been covered in additional black wrap to avoid getting wet. It’s been raining heavily all the night before the Notte Bianca.

Photo by Mal

In the morning, all the boxes were taken outside and awaited transport. While moving, a bottle of red wine (we have prepared 4 bottles of wine for the first guests) had unfortunately crashed and made a mess just outside the flat. Rita jokingly mentioned that it was an offering to the gods for the good weather, and we think she was kind of right. It wasn’t raining and the event proved to be a success, so perhaps we had a Pan or Dionysus on our side.  😉

Photo by Mal

All the works were transported on a truck driven by Pauleen`s neighbour Mario. He proved to be careful and experienced driver. He not only managed to deliver all works without a scratch (and took them back afterwards as well), but stormed his way into Valletta centre that was occupied by morning market. For the sake of the records, we place a photo of Pauleen and Mario in the truck, moments before hitting the road.

Photo by Mal

What we found later is another story.

We will update you soon.

Regards,

Mal/Rita

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24 hours before the event

Its… 24 hours to go.

Photo by Mal

So the last day before the big night has arrived. It’s easy to see: Rita is making updates at her Deviant Art website revealing new pieces for the night while Malicia runs around like a headless chicken thinking that she had forgotten something.

We have been silent for a while but extremely busy with preparations.

Photo by Mal

For instance all receipts are now collected and in order. It is very important when having a project with the budget. Basically every purchase has to be described and documented. May sound like a boring stuff but this morning Malicia discovered that she had one receipt missing and did Lara Croft all over the flat, with success.

Photo by Mal

We have also established which artworks will make it to the night and how they will be set up. The Ditch 1 (on Old Theater Street) will host hand made masks and Rita abstract works. While Ditch 2 (on Felix Street) will have Rita illustrations and Malicia`s photos.

Photo by Mal, paintings by Rita

Photo and prints by Mal

We are also gonna introduce a featured artist: Artur Michalak, who is young but very promising photographer.

Photographic prints by Artur Michalak

Another good point is that Rita decided to feature her illustrations that she did for Schlock Magazine.  You may remember that Schlock Magazine hosted our own “Monday Stories” for ten weeks this year (January- April) and Rita had contributed some illustrations as well. Those illustrations will be exhibited in Ditch 2.


Photo by Mal, illutrations by Rita

We would like to also mention that “ZEKZIK U WAHEDHOM”, our project with Pauleen Micalleff is a part of a larger initiative. It is called “Open your He`Art” and involves over 70 artists scattered all over Valletta for the night. Below you can see  the hand outs and booklets. Our photos and paintings were given a prominent exposure and are illutrating the article about the initiative. We couldn’t be more proud.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

photo by Mal

We will be in touch today. So please watch this space.

Hugs and kisses

Mal and Rita

Shop till you drop

Good (and very early) morning to you, folks.

 

Photo by Mal

It’s a week left to Notte Bianca and we are very busy. One room had been turned into storage of all possible items: guest books, materials, artworks, paper ribbons, ropes, paper cuttings, pot pourri…yes you have read it correctly.

Photo by Mal

We have decided to create something very unique. The streets and the floors of the ditches will be covered with dry and scented flowers. They are in at least 6 colors, mixed in two bags and will create not only interesting patterns but also sounds. Just imagine yourselves stepping on the flowers that make “pop” under your feet.

Photo by Mal

Then we have over 30 meters of paper ribbons in 5 different colors and some material ribbons that will be put on the fence. Yes it will be kind of like making an installation. We want to go for environment that will match our art which is vibrant and abstract.

Photo by Mal

Now we want to draw your attention to our guest books. We have two lovely books with cat patterns on the cover and some lovely cartoons inside. If you haven’t been introduced yet, this is Sammi, Mal`s cat. She is very curious and loves to inspect things. We thought it would be appropriate to put her into the guest books. Cartoons are done by Marco Attard.

Photo by Mal

cartoon by Marco Attard, photo by Mal, model Sammi

And since we speak about Sammi, here she is checking on a roll of plastic. This will be cut into pieces to make “raincoats” for the paintings in case of rain. What you are seeing is 10 meters of transparent 5 mm plastic ready to be used.

Photo by Mal

We have saved the best for last. We have got 50 meters of fabric to be used as a background for the artworks. Now what you see on the photos are two stacks of green and lilac fabric, as they were delivered from the shop. We are gonna cut those piles into nice straps and hang it by using this roll of nylon-silk purple rope. It is the same one we used back in June for Earth Garden, only in bigger quantities.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

So basically we have got it all and right now, the last stage of the preparations begins. Getting creative!

So watch this space!

Mal and Rita

Action, lights, candles!

Howdy!

 

Photo by Mal

So many things have happened that we don’t know where to begin.

The official name for the project is “ZEKZIK U WAHEDHOM”, gossips and loneliness. The market was once the heart of the city of Valletta, but most of the merchants moved in the 80`s outside of the capitol and only few meat makers remain. The whole area used to be very lively and people would meet up to chat and gossip. Now it is pretty much left alone and falling to pieces. We want to re-habilitate the place and bring people back.

We started to gather all needed materials. We have now 80 covered candles (they are actually called “day burners”) in two colors: red and yellow.  Decorative papers, wires and ropes are also bought. We will try to make some additional decorations out of the paper. Double-sided gold and silver musical notes and small stars anybody?  

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

We had a meeting about the lights. Pauleen Micallef is having her works spread all over the place: the corner of Old Theatre Street and two more pieces in Felix Street. She had decided to move one of her spots closer to the middle of the street as the place she chose before will be too close to the main crowd on Merchant Street. She also will be now exhibiting Jazz paintings. They will be placed on the balustrade of the Ditch 2 right next to the entrance. So she will need at least three separate lights.

Photo by Mal

Mal and Rita will have two spot lights (known also as ‘Hollywood Lights”) per ditch. We went to the site after dark last night to see how we would place the lights and putting them at the each side of the ditch will be just perfect. Both streets offer working street lamps. That gives us wonderful yellow/orange glow. With the candles and spotlights, we will have enough of light for the artworks to be fully appreciated.

You can see the streets after dark:

  

 Old Theater Street 

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

And Felix Street

 

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

We will be updating you shortly.

Caw caw,

Mal and Rita

Measurements Day update

 

It’s Labor Day … and we work  

Photo by Mal

 

If you thought, we had been lazing around just because it’s a Labor Day, we will prove you wrong. We have been brainstorming ideas, editing photos and wrapping up the second entry about the Measurements Day. Now the previous part was about Pauleen`s vision of the street design.  

This one is about the Ditches. We got down into the (rabbit) hole on a ladder to measure, found some exciting details and faced the issues.  

We have two 33 meters long ditches to fill up. Their walls rise with the street level, the lowest point being at around 1.50 meters, middle point at 3 meters and highest point at around 5 meters.  

Each ditch has 9 inside doors, 2 meters height and 1.5 meters width. That leaves us with 18 doors that we can use to present the paintings. We need to have fabric to cover it. But at least there will be no problem with the hanging. Just look at the arches and the steel-work. What a fantastic and solid base for hanging any object. It’s gonna rock more than Bruce Springsteen on a sold out show!  

Photo by Mal

 

Photo by Mal

 

We are going to have some interesting features where we can put the lanterns or candles. Please have a look at the rusty pipe or the small window. You don’t need a lot of money to build a character of the place. It has it already; we will use it to our advantage. And the drain is our secret weapon in case of the rain. All the water will just flow right into the hole. It makes a nice acoustic sound too.  

Photo by Mal

 

Photo by Mal

 

Photo by Mal

 

Photo by Mal

 

What we really don’t like is the fact that the ditches are currently very dirty. People seem to throw the garbage down there. We will try to see if we can get help to clean it. Sweeping is not enough. It requires a water hose.   

   

Photo by Mal

 

    

Ditch 1 (on Old Theatre Street) needs to have some stairs because otherwise people will not be able to get inside. It lowest point stands at around 1.80 meters and the entrance depth is 1.40 meters. Neither Rita nor Mal are carpenters.  

Photo by Mal

 

There are a lot of obsolete rubble and stones in Ditch 1 too. We have dubbed this particular thing “Apocalyptic Design”. In case we cannot remove it from the ditch, Mal threatens to turn it into an installation worth of Tate Museum:  

Photo by Mal

 

We also need to have keys to access Ditch 2 on Felix Street. On the Measuring day we couldn’t get inside because cars parked the entrance, which was also locked. As of now we don’t know to whom to speak to have a key, but cars pose an issue as well. If we have people parking there, we will not be able to do our work.  

 We plan to put Christmas lights on the fences and decorate the staircase with lanterns. It should create a wonderful atmosphere.  

 So that basically that. We will leave you with some shots of the Old Market that we took. Just to give you an impression of the glorious neighborhood we will be working in.  Isn’t it just splendid?  

Photo by Mal

The Sign

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

 

We will keep you folks informed.

Enjoy the (supposedly) long weekend.

Mal and Rita D.

Measurements Day

 
 

Measurements day!

 

 

 As you know we are working on a project with a fabulous Maltese artist –Pauleen Micallef for Notte Bianca in Valletta that will be held on September 25th. We are going to rehabilitate the area of the Old Market in Merchant Street. To do so, we will take over two side streets (Old Theatre and Felix Street) and two near by ditches. The Ditches will be transformed into art galleries by us, while Pauleen will decorate the streets above us with her paintings (and perhaps one Egyptian mosaic).

Last week, Mal and Pauleen went on to do some measurements and planning. This post and the next one are to document what has been done. Let’s start with the streets above the ditches:

On Theatre Street, we have found a corner (with St Paul Street) that offers a wonderful mix of old balconies and even older doors. Garages, closed shops, just perfect as it is en face the entrance to the Ditch 1.

photo by mal

We have posted the photos of the balconies in our previous post here:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/notte-bianca-update/

Pauleen wants to hang her images inspired by the street’s architecture from the buildings. For that purpose we have singled out two really cool spots.

photo by Mal

The wall and the grey door have 6.22 width and height of 2.40 m. There is also a gap of 52 cm between this unit and the neighboring doors. This space can be either used as a brilliant background for the painting alone (just see the picturesque cracks and peeling paint – amazing abstract work by time and corrosion). Or it can be covered by fabric. That haven’t been decided yet, but we are leaning towards to leave the walls uncovered.

photo by Mal

The other spot is the garage door. Since nobody uses the garage anymore, we can as well pimp it up for the night. It has 2.60 m height and width of 2 meters. This is just asking for a vibrant and colorful image. The wooden structure on top of it will provide excellent  base for the ropes. Since Pauleen will work with big canvases just give us a ladder and it will be done in no time!

Pauleen had written down everything and even made sketches. You can see a page off her notebook here:

photo by Mal

Since we also had to measure the ditch, we had to use a ladder. We went to the nearby shop “M.Malia” to see if they could assist us and the owner was so kind to us that he didn’t only give us the ladder but also posed for a photo for this blog.

Photo by Mal

Once in the Ditch 1, Mal was taking measurements and Pauleen was writing them down. Mal couldn’t help herself but to take a snap of her while documenting the features of the Ditch.

Pauleen had a good laugh calling Mal “paparazzi”:

Photo by Mal

Once we were done with Old Theater Street, it was time to move to the other side of the market. Felix Street hosts residences and small bars. Once upon the time, it was also a home to a lovely tea place. Unfortunately it had closed down and only a sign remains. This is more or an interesting place for a passer-by. It offers a unique view of how life in Valletta once was and many-a-tourist can be seen there happily taking snaps.

Photo by Mal

Felix Street has many interesting features that will catch your attention once you go to the spot. It is also home to the Ditch 2.

Photo by Mal

Pauleen has an idea of placing two artworks on Felix Street. One will be placed at the beginning of the street, next to Valletta City Pro Estate offices and another at the very back of the street, where again, it corners with St. Pauls Street. You need to know that all streets in Valletta are parallel as the city had been designed by Order of St. John.

At the beginning of the street, we have singled out another empty workshop. It is similar to the grey door shop from Old Theatre Street but has slightly different measurements. It has 2.40 meters in height and 2.32 meters in width. Because of its paint, it maybe suitable for a bright and colorful Egyptian Mosaic that Pauleen created.

Photo by Mal

At the very end of the Felix Street we have found a small wooden structure that covered an entrance to an old shop. It’s relatively smaller, with 2.40 meters in height and 1.22 meters in width but Pauleen decided it was a perfect spot for yet another canvas. That will give the whole street kind of “frames” and in the middle of it, our quests can find the entrance to the Ditch. Sounds like a good plan for us.

Photo by Mal

Those who will pass either side from Merchant Street or St. Paul Street will be attracted by signs and paintings on the corners. We are going for the best exposure we can have.  

Photo by Mal

Before we were finished for the day, we also met a young artist, who will have his stand at the Valletta City Pro office – Keith Vassallo. After a nice chat, Pauleen and Keith had a photo taken by Mal. After all, she really is paparazzi 😉

Photo by Mal

That wraps up the first post about the measurement day. Next up we will tell you about what we have planned for the Ditches. Stay tuned.

Later,

Mal +Rita