TEDxValletta (backlog entry #1)

Hi there!

The official logo

This entry was prepared to be posted in February. Unfortunately, this year is extremely busy so we not always have time to keep up with the blog. So a lot of backlog is prepared and I am going to be posting the entries in spare moments.

If you excuse us we will go back in time and mention a fantastic conference we attended.  It was called TED x Valletta: Innovation meets Inspiration.

We have just learned that a new one will be taking place on 11/11/2011 ( you can watch the trailer HERE), so this is probably the best moment to say what a wonderful experience it was.

18th of February 2011 proved itself to be one of those hectic days with a tight schedule and a lot or running. But once a day like this is over and you look back, you see how much fun it was. The conference was in the morning, then in the evening we attended Patrick Duff concert (we will write about it in the near future but we are not sure what in form it will be yet). Plus it was pouring nearly all the time. You can imagine.

If you are not familiar with TED conferences, it stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. It started over 25 years ago and is currently curated by an NGO – Sapling Foundation. TED offers a platform to exchange visions, ideas, and practical tips on variety of topics ranging from technology to culture and beyond. It is often done in a form of conferences or talks that are recorded and then made available online.

TED is located in the US so not everyone can be in attendance. That’s why a special program called TEDx was created. It is basically an independent event in the form of a TED conference hosted locally.  So far it happened in around 60 countries.

Official logo for TEDxValletta

TEDxValletta was organized at St James Cavalier in Valletta. It was curated by Mrs Deborah Webster.  She was not only a moderator of the event but herself being a leader and advisor; she offered many useful tips between the talks.  But what really impressed us about her was the way Mrs Webster handled the crowd. She doesn’t speak loudly, actually on occasion she was just decibels above the whisper, yet she captured your attention immediately.  Usually there are some chit chatters at the back of the room at conferences which sometimes makes us irritated but this time around nobody dared to utter a word.  We don’t know how Mrs Webster is doing it, but we wish she’d share her secret. 🙂

On the panels we had some really amazing and inspirational speakers:  Dr Tanya Sammut – Bonnici from Edward De Bono Institute at University of Malta, Christoph Glaser from International Association for Human Values or Jo Simpson from Coaching and Mentoring Middle East LLC among others.  It was a mix of talks about how technology and philosophy influence each other, to how to use your intuition and how not to be afraid of even most radical changes (brilliant presentation!) and how to be a complete human being (and still be a successful person).

Photo by Mal

But there was a certain talk that really deserves a mention. It was done by Mr Nitten Nair. He is a student of University of Malta. He offered a short yet humorous (and insightful!) presentation on Indian mythology and its references to modern living and culture.  You should have seen him talk. We immediately felt drawn to his ideas as we love old legends, myths and we often use them as reference in our work, especially the stories we write.  Mr Nair may be young but we can tell you that we will hear from him in the future.

We really loved our time at TEXxValletta. But that doesn’t mean there were no setbacks.  The networking part didn’t work out at all. Attendants preferred to discuss in their own private circles and ignored you at times.  Many people left during the break or right after the conference.  Some talks were also not fortunate. We don’t want to discourage Ms Diana Tircomnicu but her panel (dedicated to job market situation and the young generation – Gen Y, as she named it) was confusing and ill-timed. Ms Tircomnicu seems to aim at high academia but didn’t manage to escape stereotypes and generalizations. Statement such as “all young people are not interested in politics” sounded extremely unfair when it is young people (and often younger than the panellist) that fight and die for democracy and human rights in the Middle East at the moment.  We can also assure that we know many people in the West who are extremely conscious about politics. We will blame the generalizations and ism`s in the talk on lack of experience and perhaps lack of time to prepare the panel.  We are sure that next time around Ms Tircomnicu will do just brilliantly.

Digital polaroid by Mal

It turned out to be a long post, but we really wanted to tell you our feelings about it. All in all it was time worth spent and we wish to see more events like this in the future.

For now, we run off to do more work. No rest for the wicked;)

Have a brilliant Sunday,

M+R

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The road to Earth Garden

Hello everybody!

"The other two" by Rita

The time is flying just too fast. Several months have already passed since we started planning the second edition of Earth Garden and the zero day is about to arrive! The celebration starts tomorrow and we are more than excited!

It has become our humble tradition to give you a small preview of what you can expect.

First please take a look at the below map to familiarize yourself with all prepared attractions. We will be present in two locations. In the Art Square you will have a chance to see our installations: “A mortal moment” – photography exhibition prepared by Mal and “Planet Caravan” – a small display of Rita’s ecological orbs.

We will also have our stand at the Ethnic market, where you will be able to buy some of our works.

Screenshot from Earth Garden website with the area map

More information can be found on the officia Earth Garden site:

In the last few days, we have been travelling all over the island in search of materials we could use. Mal went to Birkirkara to buy us a nice folded table. We also have knife, ropes, glue, two flashlights (one in the colour of deep purple!), guest books, duct tape, a hammer, batteries and a whole of other tools that will be used to set up our installations.

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

Just like last year, our works will be hanging from a tree of Art. Two weeks ago Earth Garden main organizers called up a meeting with all artists and each one of us got their own personal art space. We have chosen two very handsome trees:

Photo by Mal

Photo by Mal

One location is a spare one, reserved in case of plan changes, moves or any other art related emergency. We are equally pleased with both of them and whatever place we will end up in, will be turned into a truly magical corner!

Especially for the EarthGarden, Rita has prepared several new artworks that haven’t been displayed anywhere else before. Her ever popular cat series will be represented by 5 piece series called “The M-cats”. Their titles are: Melora, Malice, Mella, Makara and Moloko.

"Melora" by Rita

"Moloko" by Rita

"Makara" by Rita

"Mella" by Rita

"Malice" by Rita

Besides the cat artworks, Rita will be also showing her usual abstract work. One of the newest is called “Rain Machine” :

"Rain machine" by Rita

All works can be purchased at the stand in Ethnic market only on Saturday.

Earth Garden looks extra promising and we hope all visitors will have a great time. Mal will also be working during the night securing the Art Square (I have got a pink torchlight and a sonic screwdriver! Beware! – Mal)

That’s all for now. You can expect a long and very detailed report from the event posted very soon.

Till we meet again!

M+R

Planet Caravan

 Hey!

Photo by Mal

Another edition of Earth Garden is coming very soon. In just two days, all art lovers will have a chance to participate in one of the hottest exhibitions organized on the island. There is nothing better than works of arts surrounded by blossoming trees and under the ribbon blue sky!

Yesterday, we presented you Malicia’s project called “A mortal moment” – a colorful collection of photographs inspired by the Nature itself. Rita however, is a traditional artist (maybe a little eccentric one) and used her skills, fabric and paints to create something she came to call “Planet Caravan”.

What’s the Planet caravan, you ask? In short, it’s 6 ecologically produced orbs that were decorated using only ecological materials: dried flowers petals, hand painted sea shells, small colored stones and other components people usually throw away. Rita has been collecting strange bits and ends for months, trying to find another use for them. Most of those decorative elements have been used to beautify various gifts or bouquets of flowers. Once the present is unwrapped or the flowers withered away, they usually end up in a garbage bag. It’s a shame, as they can be re-used to create something truly unique. Before you get rid of something, take a good look at it. You might be holding a real treasure in your hand!

Screen shot with our bios from the Earth Garden website

Rita’s project also involves the concept of water. Water is the fundamental ingredient in the circle of life. Without it nothing can be created, no form of life, no matter how small or how developed, will survive. Water can be stored, frozen, purified and processed. It evaporates and returns to us in the form of the rain – a miracle that happens right before our eyes every single day!

Planet Caravan symbolizes the Water circle of every planet. To make the whole concept even more symbolic, Rita decided to compare each stage of the circle to a period of Earth’s solar day. From the beginning of life, through the full bloom, fading and in the end, death. Water circle, day, night and our lives are one and them same – after all, we are also part of the great Universe.

The circle begins with the DAYLIGHT – the orb is red as the sun is slowly rising above the horizon. The sky is no longer dark; planet is waking up from the eternal dream. It is the Precipitation – the water begins to run like blood in our veins.

Daylight by Rita

Golden orb is the SUNLIGHT – the sun is now high in the sky and the darkness is completely gone. Sunshine beams are dancing on the surface. It is the Runoff – water is moving through the planet reaching every corner and sinking into the ground.

Sunlight by Rita

Next step is the BROADLIGHT – the orb is yellow as the sun is at its highest elevation in the sky. Midday is the warmest part of the day. It is the Infiltration – water sinks deep into the ground reaching the roots of the plants.

Broadlight by Rita

As the time moves forward we now reach the TWILIGHT – the orb is violet as the sky is darkening again. The light begins to diminish. This is the Sublimation – water is changing, transiting from one form into another.

Twilight by Rita

When the solar light is finally gone, the stars appear in the sky. Their cold light is shining over the peaceful planet. The day is now done –  STARLIGHT –  the orb turns blue. This is the Evaporation – water transforms from liquid to gas and disappear into the atmosphere. The clouds are born.

Starlight by Rita

And in the end there is MOONLIGHT – the orb is silvery black. The stars are now gone and the Moon is the only ruler of the sky. It illuminates the planet as it falls asleep again. This is the Condensation – the water is gathering in the clouds and is now ready to return to the surface in the form of a rain drop.

Moonlight by Rita

The circle is now complete. It has no beginning and no end. Water, like life, is after all, endless!

Planet caravan will be displayed along with Rita’s other works.

But we will write about them tomorrow. Stay tuned!

R+M

A Mortal Moment

Hi there,

Banner for Earth Garden 2011

 

I don’t know about you but the blog’s been too silent.  It annoys me too; unfortunately my day doesn’t have 48 hours so I can execute all that has been planned. I am gonna try harder though and will update all those entries that have been prepared in the last two months. I am not joking, I have a backlog of material and I am about to use it 😉

 

Coral by Mal

 

But today I want to talk about something very important. Earth Garden is taking place this week end and Rita and I are again taking part. We had incredible time last year with our “Tree of Dreams” and we are eager to return with yet another project.

 

Emerald by Mal

 

This year’s main motif is water. The most precious resource you can imagine. Without water there is no life, nothing can grow or bloom.

 

Pearl by Mal

 

In recent weeks I have been extremely inspired by art of Amy Abattoir.  She’s an extremely versatile painter who resides in Pennsylvania, US.  Her eye for nature, smallest details and use of colour and light is amazing. I tried to transfer some of her ideas into my own work, especially the contrast between background and the main object, colour and texture. That’s how a series of 7 prints “A mortal moment” was born.

 

Sepia by Mal

 

This series plays on the theme of passing seasons, from spring to winter, and the stages of life, from blooming to withering.  Yet, all the plants I have photographed are somehow dry and dying. This is circle of life in the country, where water reserves are running low, where we waste the precious resource and soon may face a complete lack of it. And if we lose the water, the trees that we still have, the rests of greenery on this rock will wither and fade away.

 

Violet by Mal

 

This is our mortal moment, the hour of our reckoning.

 

Carmine by Mal

 

All prints are named after colours and resemble a certain season: “Coral” is early spring, “Emerald” is the arrival of warmer days but not yet full summer, “Pearl” is the proper summertime, when days are the longest. “Sepia” is Indian summer, still warm but the shades are growing longer and the sunlight turns amber. “Carmine” symbolizes the autumn in its splendour of reds and purples, while “Violet” is the misty evenings that arrive with the Hollow’s Eve and first freezing nights. The circle is closed with “Cyan” – the dead of winter and the end of life.

 

Cyan by Mal

 

I hope you like this little series. Tomorrow, we are gonna show you the Planet Caravan and our site where we will be located. It is worth waiting for!

 XXX

Malicia