The manifestation of grief and insomnia whiles away its time on a ghost of Sliema’s waterfront. Displaced in time, location and mind. The sun is rising behind the old Chalet, drawing the silhouette of a backlit forgotten facade on a Mondrian inspired promenade.
This painting originated as a small playful doodle on a page corner of my sketchbook from a dark patch of my life, a couple of years after my mum died. My relationship with nighttime reached a strange point, between insomnia and the peace that falls come nighttime, I felt safe – can’t get bad news if everyone’s asleep and lack of rest can skew one’s judgement.
Eventually, I began to feel better and that’s when this collection started gaining steam. It was time to start closing the chapter and bring back the healthier, more joyful Ramon. I was finally in a position to invest in myself, bought an iPad and my work transformed into what you see today.
This painting not only represents the surrealism experienced from sleepless nights and trauma, but also the hope for a brighter future where I can be surrounded by enough beauty to fill the hole left in my heart by grief.
The cyclops heart is decorated in traditional Maltese tile patterns as he smokes away his time on a fantastical promenade of a bygone era. The Chalet, featured behind the character, was an art nouveau pier built in 1926. It served as a social hub until the early 60s. Many, including my grandparents, would spend hours dancing, swimming and enjoying the orchestra here. Sadly, the chalet no longer exists – a fitting metaphor for Malta’s ongoing architectural losses. My grief here is not reserved only for my mother, but also for my motherland. With every year that passes, I find it harder to recognise.