presenting “Balcón-être”, by RAFiott – a limited digital fine artwork that has garnered acclaim at prestigious exhibitions, including MeliTENSION at MUŻA in Valletta and the Malta: Un Punto de Encuentro at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid, Spain.
Embracing Maltese Identity
Maltese identity is a captivating blend of cultures from the Mediterranean and beyond. The language and architecture of Malta vividly reflect this unique amalgamation. With Arabic roots, the Maltese language has evolved over time, influenced by Italian, French, and English. Similarly, the architectural heritage of the country showcases a harmonious mix of European-style buildings and vernacular designs influenced by Arabic traditions.
Inspired by Malta’s diverse cultural tapestry, Fiott embarked on a creative exploration. He envisioned a Malta that wholeheartedly embraces its Arabic roots in its aesthetic. The result is “Balcón-être,” a mesmerising artwork that embodies the spirit of Maltese identity. This captivating piece features a traditional balcony brought to life with Moorish styles reminiscent of Andalucia and Sicily, gracefully suspended against the backdrop of a vibrant Maltese sunset.
Symbolism of the Balcony’s Eyes
Central to the artwork are the eyes of the balcony, paying homage to the traditional fishing boat, the luzzu. Each pair of eyes conveys distinct emotions, symbolizing the balcony’s connection to the nation. The central couple weep for their demolished compatriots, while the front pair gazes in terror as another balcony faces destruction. The side pairs of eyes hang low, resigned to a similar fate.
A Rich Cultural Tradition
The tradition of luzzu eyes traces back to ancient times, with origins rooted in Phoenician, Greek, and Egyptian cultures. Even today, remnants of this custom can be found across regions like the Middle East and South America. Placed on the prow of a vessel, these eyes serve as protective symbols for sailors at sea. In the context of “Balcón-être,” they take on a talismanic role, warding off the curse of corruption and unchecked development.
“Balcón-être” serves as a captivating representation of the fusion of north and south Mediterranean aesthetics, emphasizing the profound Arabic influence on Maltese heritage. It is a celebration of the rich cultural mosaic that defines the identity of Malta. Through this extraordinary digital fine artwork, RAFiott invites you to immerse yourself in the profound beauty of Malta’s cultural heritage—a testament to the vibrant spirit of the Maltese people and their enduring legacy.
A Reflection on Challenges
In addition to its aesthetic significance, “Balcón-être” also prompts contemplation of the challenges faced by the islands, including rising racial tensions. It is a poignant reminder of the paradoxical nature of a nation with a rich ancestral heritage deeply rooted in people of colour witnessing instances of white supremacy. The artwork invites viewers to reflect on these complexities and engage in meaningful dialogue surrounding them.