Over the course of two weeks at the Spazju Kreattiv artist residency, my collaborator, Jennie Suddick, and I realized a series of projections and projection mappings across the island of Gozo under the title Hawnhekk, which means “here” in Maltese. We developed the imagery used in the video projections based on collected narratives of recollections of life in Malta from those who had emigrated abroad, and from local Maltese and Gozitan residents, and from those who felt a strong connection to Malta or Gozo. Drawing upon the rich symbolic lexicon present in Maltese culture influenced by the Catholic Church, the waves of colonial occupation by the English, and the many invasions, conflicts and settlement by peoples from diverse parts of the world over the course of millennia reaching back to 3500BCE, we selected and adapted those symbols and images which seemed to resonate most profoundly among the people surveyed.
Throughout the two weeks we worked in many different locations, with a special focus on the unfinished and abandoned villas around Gozo. A confounding clue into the contemporary economy, the island is riddled with grand, half-built structures, empty and eroding before they are ever inhabited. Intrigued by these places that in a certain sense have no history except for their incompleteness, we temporarily activated them by mapping our projections onto certain areas of their facades.
Our residency culminated with the extraordinary opportunity to project videos pieces around the alleys and corners of Gozo’s Citadella. This imposing walled city sits about Victoria, the main city of Gozo, serving as a reminder of the island’s struggle and might throughout history.