Who: Ritienne Zammit | What: L-Art Imwiegħda?! – collection/art installation, under the artistic guidance of Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci, in collaboration with Valletta 2018 Foundation | Where: Valletta (Strait Street)
The revival of Valletta as part the V18 project has also seen a resurgence of the once infamous Strait Street. Fast forward to 2015, and the eponymous street is now home to one of the most bustling night-life scenes in Malta. Cue in establishments such as Tico Tico and Loop Bar to set up shop and reestablish former glory, in a good way, to the now more vibrant capital city.
So in a sense it was very befitting that Ritienne Zammit chose this specific spot for her new collection, firstly because of her personal interest in the capital, and secondly because her latest venture speaks about identity and pride of place. The undertone for the collection and abstract art installation presented on Thursday 5 November was the illegal immigration situation, which is one of our islands’ most delicate and debated subjects to date.
The title, L-Art Imwiegħda?!, which translates to The Promised Land, beckons reflection, and during the show, the pieces poignantly unearthed sombre subtle tones of Malta’s past glories and lavish times. The floor-length gowns were counterbalanced by cropped pieces, but both convey a nostalgia for opulence and grandeur that slightly remind me of an eternal Rome in a film such as La Dolce Vita, and a more evolving one in the more recent film La Grande Bellezza. Every piece has an aesthetic of its own but one can clearly see the craftsmanship in the design, choice of materials, and final touches, all of which make up a cohesive collection.