rajt ma rajtx ... naf li rajt
Critical Essay by Elyse Tonna for Matthew Attard's exhibition: rajt ma rajtx ... naf li rajt (2021). VC03 is a book showcasing the 2021 exhibition programme of Valletta Contemporary with contributions by various authors/curators
KIN, who we are and where we belong (EN) / sura ta' nies (MT)
A book for SURA (2021). Stories and Poems by Clare Azzopardi. Contributions by Elyse Tonna, Glen Calleja and Lori Sauer. Translations by Albert Gatt. Photos by Giola Cassar. Proof-Reading by Claire Zerafa. Designed by Brendon Gauci
fuse (2021): collection of research and process-based articles related to the thematics and interventions by Elyse Tonna
A book for fuse (2021). Written by Elyse Tonna. Photos by Elisa von Brockdorff, Maria Galea, Rakel Vella and Elyse Tonna. Edited by Ann Dingli. Designed by Elyse Tonna and the Valletta Cultural Agency. Produced by the Valletta Cultural Agency
30@20: Looking Back Looking Forward (2021): Celebrating 30 Years The Mill Art, Culture and Crafts Centre
From the Archives: A reflection. and The Mill Today: A conversation February 2021
A book for 30@20 project by the Gabriel Caruana Foundation. Contributions by Raffaella Zammit, Dr Nikki Petroni, Elyse Tonna. Designed by Mighty Box Ltd.
what is 'ħaġarna'?
A book for ħaġarna (2019). Contributions by Elyse Tonna, Dr Irene Biolchini, Prof. Vicki Ann Cremona, Dr Sandro Debono, Dr Marko Stamenkovic and introductions by Hon. Dr Ian Borg, Hon. Dr Owen Bonnici, Hon. Dr Justyne Caruana, Hon. Dr Anton Refalo, Nicoline Sagona, Joe Cordina and Dr Christian Zammit. Designed by Elyse Tonna
the coast, the Fossa area and its users
Refraction by Giola Cassar and Aprille Zammit
Triq l-Għajn, Valletta
installation, photography, screen printing
The notion of 'refraction’ is common to the many stories associated with the Fossa area. From early in their process, Giola and Aprille proposed a project that sought to bring together associations related to the coast of Valletta. Regular research sessions and meetings with boathouse owners enabled this team to focus on the recent development of the Fossa area, understanding its evolving dynamics. The artists’ work in the tunnel leading to the Fossa ultimately came to be a symbol to all its users, conveying different meanings to people.
Chips from Dolphin Kiosk, ħobż biż-żejt from the bars, fishermen and kaċċaturi, timber boathouses, fishing boats and buoys, niches adorned with santi, crabs for octopi.
The media used by both of the artists dictated a lengthy process of experimentation. Working collaboratively, Giola experimented with photographic still-life compositions representative of elements in the stories, whilst Aprille extracted patterns from the area to create screen printing templates. In addition to onsite conversations with community members, the artists carried out archival research, sifting through maps and photographs to identify changes to the coastal area across time.
These links, associations and histories were eventually represented through photography, whereby objects were first captured individually until a style was selected for the final still-life composition. All throughout, varied screen-printing approaches were used, from geographical iconography to more abstract patterns and rubbings, all extracted from the area itself. The nature of the work developed according to the parameters of the project, conditioned specifically by its final location and format. Print tests were carried out to identify how to print at a large scale on different materials. The work, its location and embodied meanings each symbolise the users, past and present, of the Fossa area.
“Here is where I am always happy”, we were once told. Starting from a small community of boathouse owners, the Fossa area is evident of a continuous flux of users. It is a point of intersection of many communities, uses, interests and memories.
'Refraction' is one of the installations which remained in its original location in Triq il-Għajn as a permanent installation.