Blues for a t-shirt

Blues for a T-shirt

 

How many times in your life have you heard this question: Are you interested in fashion? Some of you probably have heard it too many times; some haven’t heard it at all. For us, fashion is not only the way people dress. It is not about accessories, high heels, hats, scarves or jewellery. We do not look at sizes, patterns or shapes – we treat it as yet another medium of expression. Only in recent years, others realized something that has been obvious for us from the very beginning. Fashion is a form of art. For a dress you can pay as much as for a painting. Alexander MacQueen is a genius just like Jackson Pollock or Alphonse Mucha, and there is nothing but the truth about it.

We cannot remember when exactly we started creating out own clothes. In elementary school, we would create crazy outfits from various odds and ends. Hand painted hair bands, necklaces made from white dyed horse-chestnuts or dry berries were hits among our friends in high school. Mal produced tens of friendship bracelets from multi coloured wool as gifts for holidays and birthdays and even sewn a logo of Fear Factory that Rita proudly displayed on her school bag. We would also design and complete our own Halloween costumes and later cosplay outfits for manga conventions. Outgrown prom dress was turned into Ayane costume from Dead or Alive series and an old wedding dress helped us to become a witch for a fantasy convention meeting. Taking part in summer LARP games was a bit of hard work but then, we would play as a wild cat (in a fur bikini) and an apprentice elementalist.

Mal taking part in a LARP session at Gladion convention

Rita at LARP session at Gladion

If we lacked the skills, then we would hire a professional tailor or look for a different solution. Turning into Maya from “Parasite Eve” took us to an opera house from where we borrowed a real velvet stage dress used by opera singers that weighted 12 kilograms!

Mal at Asucon convention cosplaying as Lucca of Chrono Trigger

 

 Becoming Lucca from “Chrono Trigger” required borrowing a yellow karate gi from a martial art club and a bike helmet. Imagination has always helped us to take the first cosplay prizes home 🙂

Mal and Rita cosplaying as Maya and Aya of `Parasite Eve` at Asucon convention

 From all our creations, we always enjoyed making the t-shirts the most. For hours, we would sit in the kitchen, sketching designs on breakfast paper and coming up with various funny slogans and come back lines. In high school, we were buying plain black shirts and then decorating them using house bleach. We have created shirts for every occasion and purpose. A shirt with writing “LOST Angeles” on it was used as an outfit for a movie premiere of “Escape from L.A”. During long and boring school days we would wear tee saying “De profundis clamavi ad te Domine” in the front and “…Get me OUTTA here!!” in the back. Our favourite shirts were the ones we made for Ozzfest festival in Katowice. Mal has presented herself to Sharon Osbourne wearing a shirt saying “East of West, Ozzfest’s best” and Rita was sitting on Coal Chambers’s equipment shuffling her feet, having on a shirt that was screaming “I’m not going to heaven, I’m going to Ozzfest!”.

Mal circa 1996 wearing Lost Angeles T-shirt

Today, using a house bleach is not the best (and the most fashionable!) way to create a shirt. For a new project, we came up a unique design. It is called “Archetype-Replica” and consists of two shirt design.

The first called simply “Archetype” is made on a cold pressed paper using ecoline, acrylic paints, glitter and glue. The writing has been created using letters cut from a thin paper and then glued to the surface before the background was painted. The letters were then removed revealing the graffiti type logo and covered with varnished to harden the entire design.

Design for `Archetype`shirt by Rita

The red colour means blood and fighting for freedom.

 If you want to see this design at Rita`s Deviant Art account please click:

HERE  

The close up of the Archetype logo shows the structure of the paper and the faint lines where the letters have been attached before:

design by Rita

or alternatively please click  HERE

The second design is called Replica – this is Rita’s favourite. The colours symbolize transgression, or passing maybe. This is calmer side of things. Post fighting period that is like water, calm but also very dangerous.

Design by Rita

For a better copy please click below to visit Rita`s Deviant ART account:

HERE

Replica has been made with ecoline, acrylics, watercolours and ink on cold pressed paper. The logo is also graffiti like.

Close up for Replica design by Rita

Alternatively please click below to see the design close up:

HERE 

The artworks will be scanned in high resolution and then printed professionally on t-shirts.

The final result will be also posted on the blog.

 But this is a theme for another entry and for another day.

 For now enjoy this short and sweet blues for a t-shirt 🙂

Rita and Mal

xxxx

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Notte Bianca lost files #2

Notte Bianca lost files #2

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.

***

Photo by Mal

It is quite impossible to establish how many people passed through the Old Market building on Notte Bianca. But it must have been hundreds through all the night. The restaurant was open in front of the site, and a silent disco (where people had headphones on and each was listening to their choice of music). A climbing post was organized on the first floor of the building. So much was happening and it was really hard to keep track. However we are thinking that between 700 – 1000 persons came to the exhibition.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

There were moments especially at the beginning when we thought nobody would come. The escalators leading to the 2nd floor broke down years ago and it’s an effort to climb them, especially for the elderly. And the climbing wall was taking a lot of attention from us. We had to advertise.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

We borrowed a big blackboard from the restaurant downstairs and some chalk. We wrote huge message about exhibition and free wine (we had some anyway for the first customers) and put it downstairs. We also put posters on the entrance.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Within minutes poor Pauleen was running among a crowd and serving the wine.  A good sign attracted over 50 people just at once. We were surprised but extremely happy. It went up from there.

Photo by Mal

Not only friends and colleagues arrived that night (Artur, who exhibited with us, came with a whole group of people from the office and boasted that he could also give tours around Valletta, Mal was totally surprised). We had a pleasure to speak with tourists and locals alike. A Polish couple who travelled the world came and had a chat with us. A Danish woman who was on holidays in Malta told us how much she wanted to retire on the Island. A group of Chinese school girls, in their uniforms (!) came giggling and gossiping. An old Maltese gentleman came with two mischievous grandchildren who would blow out all the candles on purpose until we told them we would tell the grandfather 😉

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

People from all sorts of walks of life came to see the display, which was extremely nice and but it was also a humbling experience. We received some really good verbal comments and some words of encouragement were left in two guest books for us.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

At two points in time we had a blackout because the crowd was so big that somebody stumbled on the cables and the lights went out on the whole floor. It was thanks to the efficient Nexos technician who would patiently fix the lights for us.  But during the blackout periods, the people who operated the climbing wall would switch out a snow machine and produce an amazing show filing the whole space with artificial snowflakes. It looked magical.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Due to crowds we could only start to take things down at 2:30 in the morning. We had to leave some things behind and come back for them next morning. We haven’t slept for around 16 hours and barely had time to sit down. But we had fun and we were proud to achieve what we did.

Photo by Mal

Despite the weather, change of location and multiple other things that worked against us, we managed to deliver and to maintain a good show. That’s the most amazing thing in event organizing. Once it’s over you say never again. By next morning you already make plans for the next time.

Scan by Mal

Scan by Mal

Photo by Mal

Thank you for wonderful night we will remember

Mal+Rita

Notte Bianca lost files #1

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.

***

Photo by Mal

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.

Photo by Mal

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.

Photo by Mal

Let us give a small description of each of us and photos to illustrate the site:

Pauleen Micallef

Photo by Mal


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.

Photo by Mal

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.

Photo by Mal

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.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

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.

Photo by Mal

***

Rita Dabrowicz

Photo by Mal


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.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

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.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

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”.

Photo by Mal

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.

Photo by Mal

***

Malicia Dabrowicz

Photo by Mal

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.

Photo by Mal

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.

Photo by Martin Galea De Giovanni

 ***

Artur Michalski

Photo by Mal

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.

Photo by Mal

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.

Photo by Mal

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.

Until then,

M+R

Good food, bath bombs and vintage chicken – its Easter time

Note from Rita:

Just to let you folks know that we are still alive, just slightly overworked (what was my name again?). We realize that the blog took a back seat for the moment but we are back with a vengeance.

Mal is gonna upload some new entries tomorrow and hopefully we’ll be able to keep regular updates without running around like headless chickens and wishing our day had 148 hours.

Design and photo by Rita

And speaking of chickens, eggs and bunny rabbits. It’s Easter. Time of the year when we celebrate spring, good food and a new circle of Life.

We at Vanadian Avenue would like to wish you all the best. For this occasion, we have three new digital Polaroids. As every year I am responsible for preparation of traditional Easter hamper (a small basket with food such as eggs, bread, sausages, ham, sweets and spices that is taken to the Church to be blessed and then shared on Easter Sunday over breakfast. It is a very old Polish custom). So, two of the Polaroids are also designed by moi.

Photo by Rita

One is actual hamper that I decorated for the family and the other is a vintage chicken with egg shells that have been decorated by hand. The eggs and chicken are in our family for many years and we do not remember from where we got them, but they have character.

Third Polaroid, shows gorgeous bath bombs prepared by Charlene of Soap Café. They are fully vegan and made of natural substances to make you feel prefect for spring. Recently we have been attending a workshop by Charlene and we will write about it really soon.

Photo by Mal, bombs by Soap Cafe

So there you are and hopefully you all have a splendid time.

XXX`s and OOO`s

Rita D.

April Fools

Hey All,

We are in the middle of our Spring break. So updates will resume after April 7th. But there is something we would like to share with you. We pulled a perfect joke on people we know on 1st of April. I took Rita to the office and we switched roles. So everybody thought that Rita was Mal and vice versa. It was hilarious to shake hands with colleagues with whom I work for 2 years and see them introduce themselves. Plus everybody thought they were seeing double.  

Just for the record, if you do not believe that we are identical twins here’s a photo taken two days before the event:

Photo by Matt Griffiths

If you can pull a better one on April Fools, I’ll buy you a lunch.

 We got a nice bunch of chocolate eggs for those who got fooled. This is our official April 1st 2011 Polaroid.

Digital polaroid by Malicia

I am off to bed because tomorrow we are having a picnic and a dinner at Hard Rock Café.

Sleep tight,

 Mal