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