Notte Bianca Retrospective # 16: The Look Book Part2

Welcome back!

Thank you so much for returning to read the second part of the “Look Book” thread. We have collected many pictures before and during the exhibition that it was impossible to put them all in one single post! Yesterday, you had a chance to see the Palace Messina from the outside, learn a bit more about its history and our gracious hosts: The German-Maltese Circle. Two exhibition rooms were also shown along with multiple pictures taken during the opening night on October the 1st 2011. But of course, we are not done yet. So sit tight and enjoy the virtual journey around The Palazzo Messina!

Chapel and the altar with the painting by Raymond Darmanin. Pictures provided by German-Maltese Circle. More information can be found here: http://www.germanmaltesecircle.org

THE SITTING ROOM BALCONY: We mentioned already that both exhibition rooms had balconies that were available to our visitors. In contrast to the open balcony of the Atrium, the Sitting Room’s balcony is a closed one, entirely covered with an original 18th century wooden “cage”: with solid roof and thin, decorated walls. Perhaps the term “balcony” is not the proper one to describe it: the narrow passage is attached to the building on the outside and connects the Sitting Room with the ballroom. It looks more like a gallery than a balcony, but it is being described as one even by the workers of the Palace. The balcony was covered for a reason. The passage has been built for the servants to move quickly between the lounge and the ballroom. It was used mostly during parties and balls. Kitchen helpers, maids and waiters could supply guests in both rooms at the same time with food and beverages without being practically seen by the party goers. At the picture below, Malicia and Martin strike crazy poses in the passage.

Martin and Malicia fooling around on the covered balcony. Picture by Raisa Tarasova.

The balcony overlooks the Republic Street, one of the most frequented shopping promenades in the capitol city of Valletta. We took a lovely picture of the building right next to us from there, with a German flag flowing in the wind.

A view from The Sitting Room balcony. Picture by Malicia Dabrowicz

THE BALLROOM:  the biggest room in the palace is known today as the Karm Fenech Hall, named after the German-Maltese Circle founding member and the president between 1970 and 2001. The Hall serves as a main venue for all Circle events: from charity fundraisers, symposiums, business meetings to art exhibitions and concerts. It is a prime example of the Sicilian rococo style on Malta (also knows as the late Baroque), and one of the best preserved. 

Karm Fenech Hall picture by German-Maltese Circle. You can find more information here: http://www.germanmaltesecircle.org

The ballroom is curiously positioned. It is located on the first floor, right in the middle of the building. It is separated from The Sitting Room by a wall and connected to it with an outside covered passage. It also has a second balcony of its own: overlooking the Republic Street, and placed in the middle of the external façade of the Palace. The whole room is very well lit: three huge windows supply enough light during the day and an elaborate crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling illuminates the darkness at night.

Ballroom Hall by day. Picture by Malicia Dabrowicz

During the first two days of our exhibition, the guestbooks were displayed there, on especially prepared black pedestals.  Another picture shows the Hall in the evening, with the chandelier lights turned on.

The Main Hall by night and the chandelier picture by Raisa Tarasova

We couldn’t help ourselves and we had to take a close-up picture of the chandelier as well! We are sure that nothing like this is being made nowadays!

Chandelier details. Picture by Raisa Tarasova.

The Ballroom is an architectonical masterpiece and a true sign of the status of the Messina Family. If you ever visit the audition chamber in The Grandmaster’s Palace before coming to MessinaPalace, you will quickly notice several similarities between both rooms. Before being divided into two Palaces (Messinaand Marina) the building was known as Casa Rocca Grande and was heavily inspired by the architecture of the Grandmaster’s Palace. Originally The Ballroom was built at the request of the Maltese Knights and served as the mediation room. In the 17th century a corridor connecting the Ballroom and the chapel has been bricked in and the Ballroom was decorated with colorful hand painted frescoes according to the latest fashion. The coat of arms of the Messina Family (a standing lion holding an anchor with three stars above him on a crowned shield) is hewn into the marble floor in the center of the room.

Messina Family coat of arms. Picture by Raisa Tarasova.

The coat of arms is not only visible on the floor but also on the walls as fragment of the decorative panels. A close up picture shows incredible details and the amount of work that has been put into making the miniature: all lions are identical in size and were carefully painted.

Coat of arms again, this time as a decorative element on the wall. Picture by Raisa Tarasova

The ceiling of the ballroom has been painted in a deep blue color and is decorated with golden stars. On the walls you can see bouquets of flowers and plants winding around white oval frames with scenes taken fromValletta’s daily life. All elements are shaded and it gives the viewers an impression they are 3 dimensional. Clever trick!

Ceiling painting details. Picture by Raisa Tarasova

The paintings are varied; there are different vases and flowers in each corner of the ceiling. The next picture shows that the ceiling is a bit damaged and the paint started peeling off.  The reconstruction has been done nearly ten years ago but as the crack become bigger in recent months, it will need to be repeated in the near future.

Another ceiling painting details. Picture by Raisa Tarasova

We have taken several pictures on the opening night showing a large group of our visitors signing the guestbook displayed in the Ballroom. First picture shows the back of the easel with several guests in the background ready to write their comments and opinions.

Ballroom guestbook signing. Picture by Raisa Tarasova.

Two women on the next picture are seen standing by the window reading. The majority of comments left in the books came from the ladies.

Women reading the guestbooks. Picture by Raisa Tarasova.

Young people dominated among the visitors. The largest group was between the ages of 17 to 30. Most of them were tourists and students. Sometimes both at the same time 😀

Young people leaving comments. Picture by Malicia Dabrowicz.

The oldest person who left the comment in our guestbboks was born in 1940’s. A respected group of older people also signed the guestbooks. In the below picture, a man is his 50’s is looking at the description of one of the zodiac signs.

An older man is interested in one of the guestbooks. Picture by Raisa Tarasova.

Two couples stopped by the pedestals to sign the guestbooks. The exhibition was a family friendly event and many arrived to see it along with their kids, friends and significant others.

Families leaving their comments. Picture by Raisa Tarasova.

Can you believe it that we have finally reached the end of our Notte Bianca coverage? It’s been three months since we started summarizing the event but it feels just like yesterday! 16 entries! It’s truly impressive, but you have it all now: pictures, scans, information, guestbooks, leaflets, descriptions, short stories… If you’d put all Notte Bianca entries uploaded to this blog together, they could be turned into a small book – we have written more than 65 pages of reports!

We are grateful for your assistance. Thank you so much! Please return soon as now we will be trying to recap other evens that took place in 2011!

Stay tuned,

Mal, Rita, Martin, Raisa and Matt.

Advertisements

Notte Bianca Retrospective # 15: The Look Book Part1

Hello everybody!

Please excuse us not updating the blog in the last few weeks. As usual we are extremely busy, combining professional work with our artistic endeavors. We will share the details with you shortly, but today we would like to finally close one of the biggest projects of this year: Notte Bianca 2011. So far, we have presented 13 guestbooks signed by our visitors (12 for each zodiac sign and one dedicated to photography), statistics, links and references. Pictures are the only thing that’s left. Ladies and gentlemen: let us introduce you “The Look Book” – a carefully selected collection of pictures taken during the exhibition surrounded by the luxurious interiors of the Messina Palace!

Messina Palace picture provided by German-Maltese Circle. More information can be found here: http://www.germanmaltesecircle.org

Finding a perfect location is the first rule when you organizing an art exhibition and half of the whole project’s success. The spot must be located in an attractive place (such as the city center for example) and within a walking distance to public transportation. If the building is recognized by the people, it’s even better! We have visited several places before we decided to co-operate with the German-Maltese Circle, owners of the Messina Palace.

Palazzo Messina's main entrance. Picture by Malicia

The places were impressive of course, as Malta has many beautiful buildings and architectural monuments. Yet, Messina had something more than just good looks and convenient position. We were looking for a place with a unique character and long history – and we found there everything that we had hoped to find!

LOCATION: Messina Palace

Messina Interior pictures provided by German-Maltese Circle. More information can be found here: http://www.germanmaltesecircle.org

This impressive building is located at the corner ofSt. Christopher Street(No 141 and 141A) and Republic Street right in the same heart of the capitol city ofValletta. It was built by Fra Pietro La Rocca, Prior of Santo Stefano and the Admiral of the Order ofSt. John. Along with Palazzo Marina (St. Christopher Street No. 143), it was once a part of a Casa Rocca Grande, a colossal villa belonging to the richest people onMalta. In 1864, merchant Count Rosario Messina (1796-1875) of Bagnara inCalabriaand his wife Maria de Ataliottis moved into this house along with their 5 children. Messina Palace remained the family home till 1939 when the countess Lucia Messina, an Italian citizen, left Malta before the outbreak of The Second World War. The building was then turned into a school,  governmental office (Ministry of Education) and finally in 1975, it was sold to German Embassy.

Carved staircase on second floor of the Palace. Picture provided by German-Maltese Circle. More information can be found here: http://www.germanmaltesecircle.org

Today, Messina Palace is the headquarters of the German-Maltese Circle. The rich history of the Palace is clearly visible. Original room composition has been preserved and the visitors can experience how the Maltese noble family lived nearly 200 years ago. Guests usually have access to two exhibition rooms with balconies, a large library, spacious hallways adorned with baroque stone carvings on both sides of the stairs, former ball room that serves now as a conference chamber, private chapel with unique altar made of Carrara marble and to popular Bar and Coffee shop with na open courtyard that was roofed in 1980. Extra rooms (private study and former bedrooms) are exhibited only several times a year.

HOST: German-Maltese Circle

 The organization was created on the 18th October 1962. Their objective is to promote friendship betweenMaltaandGermanythrough art and social events. Members of the organization are not involved in politics. The circle is operated and financed by its volunteers and has 11-person Committee in charge. Its members are elected once a year in January.

Logo of the German-Maltese Circle. More information can be found here: http://www.germanmaltesecircle.org

 Current Executive Committee of theGerman-Maltese Circleis composed of:

President: Mrs. Ingrid Kidder
Vice President: Mr. Simon Alden
General Secretary: Mr. Victor H Sammut
Assistant Secretary: Mr. Victor P. Pace
Treasurer: Mr. Carmel Azzopardi
Assistant  Treasurer: Ms Corinne Gauci
Officer i.c. Courses: Ms Marianne Azzopardi
Corporate Members Representative: Mr. Bernd Ritschel
Members: Mr. Joseph Borg Camilleri, Mr. Omar Grech, Ms Sirka Vella-Facklam
Legal Advisor: Dr Hugh Peralta

Official website: www.germanmaltesecircle.org

ARTISTS: Phos Collective (Martin Galea De Giovanni, Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz and Matt Griffiths)

PICTURES: Martin Gallea De Giovanni, Raisa Tarasova and Malicia Dabrowicz.

Main corridor leading to the chapel, with the altar visible in the distance. Picture by Raisa Tarasova.

Our exhibition entitled “The Astral Room: A journey through the stars in art and photography” occupied two show rooms on the first floor of the Messina Palace between 1st and15th of October 2011. Before entering, the guests have been welcomed by a poster created by Martin Galea De Giovanni and a sign “Exhibition: free entrance” pointing in the right direction. Nobody could get lost! In the background, you can see the entrance to the first room with Martin’s short stories printed and framed.

Entrance to The Atrium with poster about the exhibition displayed by the door. Picture by Malicia Dabrowicz

THE ATRIUM: The first exhibition room is known as “The Atrium” – The Heart of the house. Originally, it was a lounge for the visiting guests of the Messina Family. Martin and Malicia’s photographs were displayed there: Martin’s works on the left and Malicia’s on the right. You can see the nearly entire room with a visitor standing directly in between the pictures.

A guest is looking at the photographs in the Atrium. Picture by Raisa Tarasova.

Another picture shows the entrance to the exhibition room and Malicia’s photographs on the wall. In the bottom left corner you can notice a small desk, where the guest book was placed. It is also visible on the above picture as well.

Another look at The Atrium display. Picture by Raisa Tarasova.

Large group of visitors stopped to view the photographs. On the left, Martin Galea De Giovanni is explaining the meaning beind the project.

Group is viewing the photographs. Picture by Malicia Dabrowicz

THE ATRIUM BALCONY: Both exhibitions rooms have balconies; however each of them was created for a different reason. The Atrium balcony is an open one and offers a spectacular view for the guests. The visitors of The Messina family could admire the panorama of the capital city during their stay at the Palace. The balcony was available to our guests as well and many people took the opportunity to see the town at night. Martin was photographed while looking down at the street beneath him.

Martin is looking down. Picture by Raisa Tarasova.

The balcony was also a great spot for romantic pictures. A lovely photo shows Raisa and Martin enjoying a quiet moment. A wall of the Palace Marina is just right behind them.

Martin and Raisa standing at the open balcony. Picture taken from The Atrium by Malicia Dabrowicz

The streets below on the opening night looked like the streets of Tokyo! Dancers, street performers, tourists, natives…it was a mad night! Here is the night-time snapshot of the St. Christopher Street taken from the Atrium balcony:

Busy street on the opening night. Picture by Raisa Tarasova.

THE SITTING ROOM: The second exhibition room was nicknamed “The Sitting Room” or “The Family Room”. This was the main lounge for the Messina clan and it was decorated with a beautiful 17th century fireplace. The room served two purposes: a whole family would gather here after the meals to talk, entertain themselves by reading books or listen to pianoforte concertos. When a ball or a small dance party was organized in the Palace, the room was turned into a “resting place” for the guests as it is separated from the ballroom by a wall. Food and refreshments were served by the house staff, chaperones were attending the ladies without partners and gentlemen could discuss politics or private matters without being heard or disturbed by the music. Rita and Matt’s ZODIAK series was displayed in this room. On this picture you can see the original 18th century ceramic flooring (golden and ivory tiles), a table with guestbooks in the middle and the fireplace just behind it. There are also two doors in the room. The first door, located next to the fireplace, leads to the main ballroom, the other, decorated with a curtain, leads to a covered balcony connecting the ballroom with the family room.

The interior of The Sitting Room. Picture by Malicia Dabrowicz

Two guestbooks have also been placed on the mantelpiece. We took a close up picture to show you how they looked like in detail. Every zodiac sign has been described at the beginning of the book (the golden pages) and the visitors could familiarize themselves with myths and tales connected with every sign. You can also notice the subtle white carvings on the front of the ceramic fireplace.   

A close up of the guestbooks placed on the mantlepiece. Picture by Malicia Dabrowicz

Many people stopped by the fireplace to take a look at the guestbooks. A photograph shows one of the guests reading carefully the description before adding his comment.

Visitor is signing the guestbook. Picture by Malicia Dabrowicz.

The descriptions however, were not enough for some visitors. They had so many questions regarding the artworks, abstract techniques or used materials that they had to speak to one of the organizers themselves! Martin Galea De Giovanni is seen talking to two guests explaining the meaning behind Matt’s wonderful sketches.

Martin talking to the visitors. Picture by Malicia Dabrowicz.

 All right! This entry is perhaps the longest one we have ever uploaded!

Please return tomorrow to learn more about the amazing ballroom and to see more images showing the crowds of onlookers that visited us!

Thank you for reading

Till then,

Rita, Matt, Malicia, Raisa and Martin

Notte Bianca Retrospective # 14: Numbers, Links and References

Hello all!

After uploading all guestbooks and analyzing hundred of scanned pages, we have moved to finally summarizing the whole event. We decided to split it into two parts. Our next blog will be dedicated entirely to pictures we took during the exhibition, but we are going to start with the numbers, links and references regarding the Astral Room collective project.

Cover of the Notte Bianca 2011 official guide scanned by Malicia

NUMBERS: Nobody knows how many people attended the Notte Bianca 2011 on Malta. It was the sixth edition of the event organized in the capital city ofValletta and every year the number of participants is growing rapidly. The estimated number for this year is between 100 000 to 150 000 people. Some sources mentioned even more. We think this might be a little exaggeration, but you never know! A very flattering rumor for the organizers none the less! Many of the visitors were foreigners, visitingMalta on holidays, business trips or permanent citizens living on theIsland. The visitors came from Europe (mostly Spanish and Italians), the rest hailed from Asia, Africa, Northern America (US and Canada) and Australia. There were more than 500 artists exhibiting or performing, nearly 30 concerts (including three massive ones open for everyone as the admittance was free), and dance shows. Arriva bus service sold 30 000 bus tickets between 11 pm and 3 am and added a special service line travelling to the city center ofValletta due to popular demand. Several hundred volunteers and police officers worked hard in 75 locations all over the city. Nearly 20 events lasted longer than just one night: some carried on in the first days of October but some lasted for several weeks. The last event was officially closed in mid November. Our exhibition ran between the 1st and 15th of October. It was visited by nearly 1000 people during its duration.

Special bus ticket issued for Notte Bianca that costed 2.5 Euro. Scanned by Malicia and kept as a memorabilia : )

LINKS: As you probably know from our previous entries, The Notte Bianca has also been well promoted on the Internet. Along with the Notte Bianca Organization Committee (The Malta Council for Culture and the Arts) and Geman-Maltese Circle, we have launched an extensive information campaign to make sure that our exhibition was covered as well.

The main source of information was (and still is!) the official Notte Bianca 2011 website. “The Astral room” has been printed in all official materials including maps, booklets and guides. You can download them as PDF files (Acrobat Reader will be needed to open the files), check the latest news and visit the official store. Please make sure to come back to the website often as it is still being updated. The galley section will be open for visitors pretty soon!

Notte Bianca official website, screen by Rita

The website can be accessed here: http://www.nottebiancamalta.com/downloads.html

Martin Galled the Giovanni, one of the PHOS member and a wonderful photographer, created an official Facebook event for “The Astral Room”. We have invited all our friends to participate and we were surprised by the positive reaction! Word went out on the Maltese streets and more and more people knew about the exhibition. When the big day arrived, many familiar faces could be seen in the crowd of visitors. Work colleagues, drinking buddies (we joke of course!), friends and family members – it’s the power of the Social networking!

Astral Room official event page from FaceBook, screen by Rita

The event is still on Facebook. If you’d like to share your experience with us, please leave a comment! It can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=195451987190913

Our gracious hosts, the German-Maltese Circle, have been promoting the exhibition as well. Not only they have placed our poster on their main website, they have also placed an advert in their newsletter that has been sent to hundreds of recipients! We could not ask for more! The newsletter can now also be found online. Please visit the following link to see the entire message: http://www.germanmaltesecircle.org/newsletters/2011/201110.htm

German-Maltese Circle October 2011 newsletter, screen by Rita

 
 

The official poster for the exhibition made by Martin Gallea De Giovanni

 

 Not many people realize this, but preparations for Notte Bianca 2011 started in March. We needed eight months to be able to prepare everything: find the venue, discuss the exhibition details with the venue owners, take the pictures and draw the artworks, print the images on special foam, frame the canvases and ship them to Malta (in a secured package with art insurance – never forget about it if you are sending your works abroad!). We also needed to buy guestbooks, pens and other bits and ends to make the whole thing happen and run smoothly. The most important part was to prepare the funds and complete an application requested by Notte Bianca organizers. Our proposal was 18-page long and helped us to secure the place in theMessinaPalace. If you have never prepared one, here’s the link to PHOS Notte Bianca 2011 proposal:

http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/3135730/proposal-notte-bianca-2011-pdf-september-12-2011-12-50-am-2-8-meg?da=y

Have fun and learn from the best! : D

Astral room proposal written by Martin, Malicia, Rita and Matt. Screen by Rita

Of course, we wouldn’t be ourselves, if we hadn’t checked where else the Notte Bianca (and “The Astral Room”) was mentioned on the Web. Google to the rescue and we came up with a bunch of links. If you have a minute to spare, please view them. They range from Newspaper reports (Times of Malta) to tourists information pages:

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20111001/local/notte-bianca-draws-the-crowds.387244

http://www.vallettaalive.com/

http://www.maltanetworkresources.com/2011/malta/notte-bianca-malta-2011-programme/

http://www.cityofvalletta.org/cityofvalletta/events_detail.aspx?id=291828

http://www.maltamediaonline.com/?p=38363

http://www.businessmeetingsmalta.com/Newsprogrammeofeventsfornottebianca1stoctober2011.html

http://www.kulone.com/MT/Events/List?s=EMBASSY%20CINEMAS%20VALLETTA&size=2&ord=1&count=10&page=2

http://allevents.in/Valletta/Astral-Rooms—A-journey-through-the-stars-in-Art-and-Photography/195451987190913

http://www.inameeting.biz/blog/view/id_10586/title_Exhibitions-during-Notte-Bianca-MaltaMedia-com/

REFERENCES: Every artist likes to be admired. We are vain creatures (we truly think all songs are about us!) and we starve for the public attention. There is no better way to feed our egos than to receive a reference letter saying we are special and unique : ) If you exhibit your works, you can ask the gallery to issue you a reference letter – they come handy when you want to keep track of your artistic career or if you want to secure a popular venue. We have learnt that reference letters can open many doors; sadly they are not easily given to young artists. We were lucky that The German-Maltese Circle issued a reference letter to the four of us. They have been signed by the General Secretary of the circle, Mr. Victor H. Sammut. We are incredibly humbled and grateful for the kindness! Thank you very much!

Reference letter issued to PHOS members by German-Maltese circle. Scanned by Malicia

All right! Numbers given, links placed and references uploaded! Please return soon as the pictures of the event are simply breath taking!

 See ya soon

Xxxxx Rita and Malicia on behalf of entire PHOS.

Notte Bianca Retrospective # 12: Virgo

Hi there everybody!

Here we are again…It feels so strange to write the last of the Notte Bianca retrospective entries. After a dozen posts written during the last month, we certainly got used to do it. Of course, the end of the guestbook reports does not mean we are done with the White Night 2011 coverage – we still have few aces up our sleeve! The Beautiful Virgo has been saved for the last. We received so many heart-warming comments in this guestbook that we hardly can refrain ourselves from just posting them for you to see. Before we are going to do that, we need to realize how stereotypically Virgo people are seen in our societies.

Virgo logo prepared for Notte Bianca, made by Rita and scanned by Mal

The sign also known as Venus, rules the skies between 23rd of August and 23rd of September. People born under the spell of the beauty goddess Aphrodite (or Venus in Roman tradition) are said to be very practical, sensible and dutiful. Their reason for existence is to serve others. They usually find employment as nurses, doctors, lawyers, teachers, social workers and educators. They work for pro publico bono or for the greater good and are very happy if they can do it. Virgos are extremely patient with others; they can explain and teach for hours and still maintain their enthusiasm and passion. They are eloquent, refined and they always look good – thanks to their natural charm and inner beauty they possess. Virgos are very sensitive but can be jealous and introverted. They do not forgive easily; it will take them few weeks to stop feeling hurt or offended. Virgins are irreplaceable in the work environment – their dedication and eye for details are every manager’s dream. They come to work first and go out just shortly the doorman closes the office for the night. In private, they are bursting with energy and eager to learn – a bored or passive Virgo is yet to be seen. If they choose not to work, they will read, go to exhibitions, cinema, sign up for voluntary services, help out in their church or any organization closest to their beliefs.  They treat their friends like family members and will spoil them rotten. They are also easy going and very funny. Virgos are said to be blessed with a true gift – they can make everybody laugh.

Virgo background leaflet, written by Rita and scanned by Malicia

Our Virgo visitors, and those who have left comments in this guestbook, are only partially agreeing with the typical representation of their sign given in horoscopes. Please take a look at the first entry given by Marusha. She prepared a long list of traits she considers the most valid for her and others of her kind:
“-    Angelic,
– sensitive,
– poetic,
– radiant,
– resilient,
– wise,
–  pure,
– strong,
– intelligent,
– beautiful,
– caring,
– lovable.
xxx”

Virgo guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Our next visitor Katarina shares the page with anonymous writer. They both added several new traits to the list started by Marusha. Katarina wrote: “Sensitive, happy, smiling with the eyes”. The second author mentioned: “talkative, crazy, laughing, take decision very fast without thinking sometimes, taking care of others, impulsive”.

Virgo guestbook page scanned by Malicia

               

Third comment has been contributed by an anonymous person. It further adds to the list of traits characteristic to Virgins: “Sensitive (please note that it appears in every comment so far!), demanding, perfectionists, often forget their promise, good friends, but suffer from a millions of doubts”.

Virgo guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Weronika paid us a visit on the 1st of October exactly at 7:45 pm. Like others, she continued adding to the growing list of Virgin traits. She was the fourth person to think Virgos were sensitive, but she also considered them to be: “outreaching, (having) a happy smile and radiant”. Weronika was not able to find Virgo picture and mistakenly assumed that: “the pictures on this exhibit do not show Virgo”. Virgo was displayed at the Notte Bianca, the artwork can be seen here:
 http://realmofzaterra.deviantart.com/gallery/7529850?offset=72#/d1c87im

Virgo guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Another comment was left by yet another, anonymous contributor. Judging by the tone of it¸ we are pretty sure that its author was a woman. The entry reads: “Caring for others more than herself, shy but still outgoing, tells the truth, people can rely on her, feminine and loveable”. Virgos are known to be stunning and extremely beautiful. Foxy Brown and Brooke Burke are just two good examples.

Virgo guestbook page scanned by Malicia

The person who wrote our next entry could be more specific. The comment says: “A TOTAL MESS!!!” in capitals.  Does he or she mean the Virgos? Herself/Himself? Politics? Internet?
A whole wide world? Don’t ask us, we have no clue…

Virgo guestbook page scanned by Malicia

With the next page, we are back to the list of Virgo traits started by Marusha. The author is anonymous but new traits are being added. They are: “Feminine but in a subtle way – not too girly, friendly and bubbly and loud and funny – but only with close friends. Shy with people of authority and strangers. Enjoys learning and any form of education. Loves science but has a faith in God”.

Virgo guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Paulina signed the guestbook leaving only a short comment but it also adds to our growing list. She thought that Virgos are:
“-    Sensitive
– Friendly
– Funny
– Laughing”
Jack Black, one of the most popular American actors is a Virgo known far and wide for having a great sense of humor. His colleague, Cameron Diaz (born on 30th of August) made a prosperous carrier by appearing in comedies and putting to use her natural comedic talent.

Virgo guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Another page and another anonymous post. As in Paulina’s case, the entry is also short but to the point. According to its author Virgos are: “Intellectually gifted and very kind persons : D ”. John Dalton, English chemist, meteorologist and physicist was the first scientist who noticed and researched the color blindness in humans. It is now is referred to as Daltonism in his honor.

Virgo guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Neville, an 11 year old boy, is probably the youngest person who signed our guestbooks! He wrote: “Friendly and independent persons”. We think that Neville must be a Virgo himself. Good job Neville, thank you so much for your comment!

Virgo guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Catherine is the author of the next comment, also in the form of a list. She mentions several characteristics for a Virgo. Her picks are:
“-   Calm
– Sensitive
– Romantic
– I panic
– Lovable
– Sweet
– Charming”.
She also modestly (and jokingly) added: “Well, I am amazing to hang out with! : D”. Catherine as a typical Venus person is both: teasingly and sweet at the same time!

Virgo guestbook page scanned by Malicia

The last entry was written by Vicky. After reading carefully the previous comments, apparently she wasn’t sure what else could be said or added. She playfully chose to sum everything with one single sentence. According to her Virgos are: “All of the above!”. We have no further questions, your honor! : )

Virgo guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Wow! What a ride it has been! 12 zodiac signs, two photographic projects, 13 guestbooks in general, exactly 134 pages of comments, thousands of visitors! How good can it get?
But we are not done yet! Please come back soon! We have lots of pictures to show you an one unique reference letter!

Till the next time!
Xoxoxoxo

Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

Notte Bianca Retrospective # 11: Taurus

Hello!

It’s very, very hard to believe but slowly, we are approaching the end of our star journey. It feels only like yesterday, when we started scanning the pages of 12 guestbooks and reading the comments left by our visitors. Only two signs are left now and this blog will be dedicated to the most vital and brave sign of the Zodiac. Taurus, also known as the heavenly Bull, rules the skies between 20th of April and the 21st of May.

Taurus logo prepared for Notte Bianca, made by Rita and scanned by Malicia

 

The Bull is the symbol of great strength, hard work and humility in many cultures. It has been the sacred animal to gods and goddesses in nearly every ancient civilization and one of the first animals domesticated by humans. In ancient history, The Age of Taurus marks historical period between 4525 BC to circa 1875 BC and is associated with the kingdoms of Egypt, Assyria and Crete. It is the age of important discoveries: metals such as copper and bronze were smelted for the first time; the production of papyrus was discovered allowing men to create scrolls, also the primitive plowing machines were constructed turning entire wastelands into farms and fields. Astrological Tauruses are considered to be solid workers, independent thinkers, slow in making decisions but constant and determined to bring their projects to the very end. They are nature lovers, great friends and animal carers. They can be stubborn and rarely change their minds, but they will admit to making mistakes if they are presented with solid facts. Bull folks are also party goers, sensitive and artistic, but one needs to know them really well to notice it. Do you think it is true? Let’s look a closer look and find out ourselves!

 

Taurus background leaflet, written by Rita and scanned by Malicia

The first page introduces us to two comments, both signed with signatures that are unable to be read. The first note, left on the 7th of October, reads: “Strong-willing, brave, patient and practical. I’m lucky to have this sign of Taurus (as my own sign)”. Second entry is much shorter. It is an approval for the first author’s words. It says: “Very good information about Taurus”.

Taurus guestbook page scanned by Malicia

There are 3 comments (all anonymous) on the second page. Let’s start with the middle one – the longest of them all. The note says: “Stubborn, successful in anything I decide to do. Following dreams, enthusiastic”. The top comment was written in French. “Moi aussi” can be translated as “Me too”.  We are not sure if the second author is agreeing with the previous statement or is a Taurus by birth – but probably both. The third person probably wrote on behalf of all Tauruses in the world by saying: “We are responsible. We care the most. Where there is a will, there is a way”. The comment was decorated with a smiling symbol of the Bull. 

Taurus guestbook page scanned by Malicia

The next comment we have received, belongs to the category of the unrelated ones to the main subject of the entire exhibition. It is also very short. An anonymous visitor has scribed: “I am happy”. You are happy, we are happy, let’s have a group hug!

Taurus guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Two visitors from Spain: Marisol and Soledad Alba left us beautiful comments. Soledad has written on behalf of both of them as she was born under the sign of the Bull: “I am a Taurus and we came to Malta for holidays. We visited the Notte Bianca exhibition, beaches and museums – everything is so wonderful here, especially the views of the sea from the hills. Greetings and respect from a girl from Madrid, Soledad Alba”. The rest of the comment was dictated by Marisol: “The horoscope for Taurus say that they are deep-thinkers and very stubborn people. They can be truly sensitive, and tend to worry too much. But Taurus people are real sweethearts and can go along with people very well. Love, Marisol”. Thank you Dave for helping with the translation! The bottom of the page has been used by Maltese visitor to post his thoughts. E. Attard wrote: “Glad to be home on Maltese Islands!”

Taurus guestbook page scanned by Malicia

We have a sneaky suspicion that the next three pages have been reserved by one person – sadly he or she prefers to remain anonymous. On the first page we find a picture of a mouse. On second a very short comment saying: “Stubborn, cat lover, hard-worker”. The last page has been decorated with wonderfully delightful drawings of several cats and small cute hearts.
Awwww, you Taurus folks! You are real charmers!

Taurus guestbook page scanned by Malicia, page 1 of the comment with a drawing of a single poor mouse : )

 

Taurus guestbook page scanned by Malicia, the middle page of the comment mentioning the love for cats

 

Taurus guestbook page scanned by Malicia, the page 3 with drawings of 5 cute cats

Another comment left in the guestbook comes from Fin Spanier. It is another great example of a splendid sense of humor that Bulls also posses. Fin wrote: “We are stubborn, sensitive, caring and quite often very handsome! Thanks for a wonderful exhibition”. The pleasure’s ours, Fin!  Come back next year!

 

Taurus guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Two entries on the next page are anonymous and very short. The first one seems to be left by a Taurus. It says: “Usually stubborn. Not in my case. Calm”. The second one has been written by a person, who apparently, is not a Bull. The note mentions: “They love quality, order and nature”. If it comes to quality then David Beckham, Penélope Cruz, Bono, Megan Fox and Jessica Alba represent the best quality in sport, music, acting and modeling.

Taurus guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Completely different view on Taurus’ serenity is offered, however, by our next, anonymous visitor. The person listed these traits as the most important in Taurisian folks:
“-     Deceptively calm,
– Methodical
– Organized
– Considerate towards others
– Enjoys company of friends
– Reliable, honest and trustworthy”

 

Taurus guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Tad visited “The Astral Room” on the opening night and expressed his opinion with capital letters, proving that his words need to be taken seriously : ) He composed a list of his own emphasizing such characteristics as:
“-    Lovely
– To the point
– Intelligent
– Smart
– Stubborn”

Taurus guestbook page scanned by Malicia

As they say, save the best for the last. Bulls are known to be frank and they limit conversations to the minimum. The last, anonymous, contribution here is no exception. It says: “Stubborn. Won’t keep offences”. In our opinion this is one of the most important traits to have in life. It is very easy to take an offence. Sometimes it is impossible to let go. Good job Tauruses!

Taurus guestbook page scanned by Malicia

To our surprise, Taurus proved to be one of the most popular sign according to our visitors.
We understand why: they are very stable, loyal companions and dear friends. They can be stubborn, but not in the negative way. When they realize they have made a mistake, they will honestly admit it and then work hard to fix the damages. Bulls are reliable; they rarely change their minds and seldom fail. It’s so good to be a Taurus!

The last sign on our list is the beautiful Virgo!
Be sure to check our blog soon!

Xxxx
Rita and Mal

Notte Bianca Retrospective # 10: Scorpio

Hey you all!

We have been waiting for this moment for a while now! As you probably know, Mal and Rita are zodiacal Scorpios (born on the 29th of October) and are incredibly proud of that fact. Unfortunately, Scorpions have a bad reputation among the signs. We are thought to be malicious, negative, depressive and very, very hard to live with.

Scorpio logo prepared for Notte Bianca, made by Rita and scanned by Mal

As Scorpios ourselves, we can say that half of what is being said about us, is completely wrong. We are incredibly loyal and passionate, very creative and curious creatures. We love puzzles, mysteries, crimes we can solve – Scorpios make a great detectives, policeman and judges. We are also very artistic and we love music more than anything else in the world. Our negative traits are being easily offended, taking everything pretty personal and quick-tempered. Scorpios are water sign, but we have the fire burning within us. An angry Scorpio is a spectacular sigh to see : D

Scorpio background leaflet, written by Rita and scanned by Malicia

Scorpios have soft side as well. We are animal lovers, avid gardeners, movie goers, dedicated   carers- the list can go on forever. Please take a look at other opinions left in the guestbook to form your own!

Liz Coltta from Derbyshire in the UK was the first one to sign a Scorpio guestbook. She left us a lengthy comment describing what it means to be a Scorpion by birth: “I am a Serpentine and extremely sensitive, caring and loving and have the patience of a saint”. Patience is a typical trait for all Scorpios. It doesn’t matter how long something might take, if it is worth their time, Scorpions will make sure it is completed. Both Laura Bush and Hilary Clinton showed their extreme patience during their husbands’ president campaigns. It paid off; they became the first ladies of USA.

Scorpio guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Our second comment is the first we received so far from a Czech visitor! Marked only with letter “Z” the note reads: “Scorpions – funny, dreamers, but they follow their own goals and pursuits”. Following their intuition and what they want to achieve can also be considered a trait characteristic for all born under the sign of Scorpio. Bill Gates had a clear vision of what he wanted to do in life – it led him to create an IT empire and to become one of the richest people on the planet. Try to beat that : D! At the bottom of the page, somebody has anonymously added: “Scorpios  —> dangerously sexy”. Ah, flattery, flattery …

Scorpio guestbook page scanned by Malicia

 
We are not sure if there are two separate comments on the page three, or just a single one. Following our Scorpio instinct, we believe there are two entries, both anonymous and the second one is a single-worded. The two first lines say: “Scorpios are loving and caring and even patient. I know, I am one”.  The third line contains only one word “Mysterious”. Scorpios love puzzles and mysteries. We hope we just solved this one!

Scorpio guestbook page scanned by Malicia

There are no mysteries on the next page, however. Two opinions, two different authors, and sadly: one entry signed with an unreadable signature and the other is anonymous. The first comment says: “Scorpio – the hard-headed one : D” and second mentions that: “Scorpios are simply the best”. Of course! It is simply obvious that Scorpios are the best. Whoopi Goldberg, American actress and singer has won an Oscar, Grammy, two Emmys, two Golden Globes, a Tony for her work. In addition, she also has a British Academy Film Award, four People’s Choice Awards and has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Scorpio guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Throughout the history, Scorpio, the 8th, fixed sign of the Zodiac, have been associated with magic and witchcraft for a number of reasons. Scorpio, the fantastic creature in medieval lore, had the ability to resurrect itself from its own ashes, much like the Phoenix. Scorpio’s ruling planet, Pluto, was considered the master of life and death, and people born under his sign were said to possess unique insight into things and mysterious aura around them. Our next visitor referred to this in the next comment by writing: “Many of them are magnets, they attracts a lot of attention. Black magic?” No, we say it’s just our charm!Scorpio guestbook page scanned by MaliciaPage number six in our guestbook is truly unique! We have three comments, all signed with full names and dates and even one author is quoting the famous philosophical maxim! The first note says: “Gnothi Seauton – Know thyself”. It was left on the 9th of October 2011 by M. Eissa.  The second visitor is named K. Axiaq and the comment reads: “Fierce, creative and imaginative”. C. Cucciandi, the last author, visited Notte Bianca exhibition a day later (10th of October) and left behind a note: “Passionate about what they do!”

Scorpio guestbook page scanned by Malicia

After having three signed comments, with the next page, we are back to anonymous contributions. The comment lists the most important Scorpio traits. It reads: “Sensitive, creative, passionate, secretive, hard-headed, fun, fun-loving, caring”. Surely written by a Scorpio person, as nobody else knows us that well!

Scorpio guestbook page scanned by Malicia

The guestbook ends with an excellent post from Maltese visitor Andrew Galea Debono (Hiya Andrew :D). We encourage everybody to read it carefully and remembering these words of wisdom: “Scorpios are passionate, sensitive, creative, they get ferocious when angry (so don’t piss them off). They make great lovers but dangerous partners… : D”. Amen.

Scorpio guestbook page scanned by Malicia

All right, we hope you have learnt more about us, The Scorpios.
The devil is not so black as they paint him, obviously.

Our next guest will be the mighty bull – The Taurus.
Till we meet again,
Xxxx
Mal and Rita

Notte Bianca Retrospective # 9: Sagittarius

Hey there everybody!

We are sorry for another short break but lots of things are happening right now. Few days ago, we have met with English writer, Helen Stringer, the author of fantasy series “Belladonna Johnson Adventures”. Helen was promoting her second book entitled “Midnight Gate”. As we are helping her a little bit, we got to spend a lovely day following her like shadows and soon, we will post a full report from the meeting.

But now, let’s us continue with the Notte Bianca report. So far, we have covered 8 Zodiac guestbooks. This post will be dedicated to the 9th book belonging to the sign of the Archer, or Sagittarius as it is commonly known. Coincidently, Sagittarius is also the 9th astronomical sign ruling the skies between 22nd of November and 22nd of December.

Sagittarius logo prepared for Notte Bianca, made by Rita and scanned by Malicia

What do we know about the heavenly Archers? They are highly independent, optimistic and adventurous. They love changes, outdoors and unpredictable situations. The unknown does not scare them, it is like a promise of fascinating journey or a puzzle to solve. Archers are easygoing, optimistic and they love to laugh. They tend to get bored easily as any kind of routine, even the most comfortable one, is something they try to avoid at all costs. They have a great deal of trust in people and in their own strength, sometimes to the point of being reckless, but they also possess incredible intuition and manual skills. It is impossible not to like them. Archers have almost magical ability to befriend everybody and they are usually surrounded by a large group of friends and admirers. As a fire sign, Sagittarius people have a quick temper and can be angered easily, through their anger do not last long. All scanned pages from the Sagittarius books are posted below. Now, let us see if the above characteristic is correct.

Sagittarius background leaflet, written by Rita and scanned by Mal

The first comment in the Sagittarius files has been left by anonymous Italian visitor. We have tried our best to translate it, but unfortunately we had to give up – nothing made sense. If you know what the entry says please give us a shout. Our friend who speaks Italian as a second language translated it to: “I’m sorry my love, I have been selfish, please forgive me and open your heart to our love”. It is unconfirmed, so until we can supply you with a better translation, wer can only admire the handwriting : D

Sagittarius guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Another post has been written in Italian as well. Thanks to the help of several people, we understand that it is a poem and it even rhymes! We weren’t able to decipher all words but the note says: “…The greatest love of mine, it is you who has brought me here, the snow will make you remember my song”. It doesn’t seem to be connected to the theme of the exhibition at all but it sounds like an ode to somebody’s better half that is probably a Sagittarius! Can you submit a better translation? Let us know!!

Sagittarius guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Third page and three comments! This time in English. Bad news is that, they are all anonymous – we have a sneaky suspicion that Sagittarius folks are too shy to sign their entries! Or perhaps, they do not wish us to know their names? The first comment reads: “(Sagittarius) Person – well surrounded, with good stars and lots of other things”. Second visitor compares the Archer to the brightest star in the night sky in the constellation of Canis Major: “Adventurer, Sirius. What they want to make, they make it. What they make, they make it perfect”. Beautifully said! The third comment mentions: “Stable, calculating. Patient but determined to see results. Optimistic, generally satisfied”.

Sagittarius guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Our next comment, very personal, has been written by a woman (she didn’t leave her name though…) and the wife of Sagittarius man. Please read what she shared: “My wonderful husband is the most loving person I know…But sometimes he is too annoying with his rules. But I love him so, so much!!”. Sagittarius people are well liked and admired by many. You need examples? Here you go:  actress Bette Midler and comedy king Ben Stiller – who does not like them, we ask?

Sagittarius guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Entries left on the next page made us smile. Two authors, very short notes, but really funny none the less : D. First person though that Sagittarius people are: “Just awesome : )”.  The second wrote: “God is Sagittarian. Enough Said”. We are not sure what Zodiac sign the God truly is, but we are pretty convinced that Jane Austen, Jimmi Hendrix, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Jim Morrisson were born under the sign of Sagittarius.

Sagittarius guestbook page scanned by Malicia

In contrast to previous comments, the note below sounds extremely serious. The unnamed author wrote: “Warrior. Willingness not to fire up even when faced with challenges and struggles…Loyal”. Tennis superstar, Monica Seles has been stabbed by mentally ill fan during a match in 1993. After long rehabilitation and struggling to regain her former condition, Monica returned to professional tennis and played for another 12 years before retiring in 2008.

Sagittarius guestbook page scanned by Malicia

The last page of the guestbook brings us the first signed comment so far! It was written in French by Françoise from Château-Courte. Françoise wrote: “I think I can call myself a `creator`: I love family life, order, organization etc. I’m also very patient. I love travelling to beautiful places, good humor and arts. I’m very conscious person and in general, I love the whole world. With best regards, Françoise”. The other comment was written in English and is yet again anonymous. It says: “Kind hearted, determined, quick tempered. Don’t like hypocrisy”. 

Sagittarius guestbook page scanned by Malicia

Now, we have a perfectly clear picture of Sagittarians. They are individualists and adventures, poets and art-lovers. They love travelling, good company and they think they are just awesome! And rightfully so! They are also artists, and very skilled ones. If you ever meet Sagittarius on your way, you will like him or her from the start, as it is nearly impossible to resist those charming archers : D

Well that’s all for now.
Next up, our favorite Zodiac sign.  The one to rule them all.
Scorpio!

Have a lovely day,
Rita and Mal.