The Malta Independent 27 May 2024, Monday
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A stunning Ebejer sculpture at Dingli

Sunday, 21 April 2024, 08:15 Last update: about 2 months ago

Over the past decade, Europe has witnessed a real interest in site-specific sculptures or installations, purposely designed for a particular location or environment. This distinctive approach allows artists to engage in their surroundings transforming and enhancing spaces through the power of three dimensional work. The decision to choose the natural environment as the context for landscape sculpture suggests that a certain idea of "land art" serves better to explore stunning countryside and discover manmade art build up in relation to its natural context. This artistic practice challenges traditional notions of display by rejecting the conventional gallery setting and instead focus on creating works that respond directly to the characteristics and history of a specific place. By doing so, these artists seek to establish a deeper connection between their creations and the surrounding environment, fostering unique experiences for viewers who encounter these sculptures within their intended context.

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With this in mind, a new landscape sculpture was installed a few months ago in the outskirts of the village of Dingli, in the picturesque area known as San Pawl tal-Pitkali.

The three-metre-high sculpture entitled Metamorphosis, immersed in the most stunning views of the countryside of the northern region, is crafted from corten steel. It was conceived and executed by artist Chris Ebejer, known for his recent highly successful exhibition Pathos. The material suggested by the artist blends well with the environment as it gets the natural rusty patina related to the earth colours which are synonymous with the semi-arid Mediterranean landscape.

To quote the sculptor: "The idea behind the permanent installation includes an interactive sculpture that encapsulates the concepts of life, freedom and natural beauty and the project serves to capture the stunning sunsets which are synonymous with the cliffs in the area by letting the light penetrate through the sculpture thus creating a bold silhouette effect for those who choose to visit this area and instil a sense of hope. The moment the sun sets behind the sculpture it creates a romantic effect and turns the sculpture into an almost magical sight."

Ebejer continues to explain the natural stages of a butterfly's transformation. He adds that behind this concept there is the harmony that is created through the pattern designed by the rhythmic movement of the butterflies, which are part of the sculpture.

Sculptures can enhance the sensory experience of nature, creating harmonious outdoor havens that captivate the senses and inspire the soul. Chris comments: "In the design stages, we involved individuals with disabilities who were assisted by Agenzija Support. They played an integral part at the initial stages. They also participated in the inauguration of the project."

The Minister for Inclusion, Julia Farrugia Portelli, said that this artistic project has great relevance to life because it symbolises the concepts of resilience, freedom and natural beauty and incorporates the concept of inclusiveness. She said that the participation of people with disabilities in the initial stages of the project sends a strong message that disabled people can make a contribution and should be considered to be equal to others. "The excellent idea by the artist, in its initial stage, involved the participation of people with disabilities which sends the message that they, too, are useful members of society. We must all be in favour of inclusion," the minister concluded.

In issue 24 of Quaderni del Mediterraneo Professor Paolo Giansiracusa contributed a long essay about Ebejer in which he wrote thus: "Ebejer is in fact, in creating every work, seeks himself; every sculpture is mirrored, imprinted in his soul an unmistakable sign of his sensitivity, a magnificent journey of his experience."

The new landscape sculpture Metamorphosis has been part of the Dingli Local Council initiative and will become part of the Heritage Trail in the same locality. It is at its best if visited during sunset at the San Pawl tal-Pitkali area in the outskirts of the Dingli village.


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