Digital Painting | 2019
This piece is a celebration of Malta’s iconic classic buses that date back to the ‘50s & ‘60s and served until 2011. They had a unique aesthetic and were one of the most recognisable icons of the islands, loved by locals and tourists alike for their character and nostalgic value.
While visually stunning, the fleet’s technology and performance became outdated and were subsequently changed in favour of more accessible, fuel-efficient, and air-conditioned models. This change came at the sacrifice of aesthetics and the simple joy of riding along the rocky countryside in these majestic classics – one of many great failings from the authorities towards preserving the country’s cultural heritage.
As a child, I remember I would beg my parents to ride the bus whenever we could – mainly to pull the bell string. I hope one day we’ll see a modern, sustainable fleet that embodies the elegance and flair of the traditional “karozzi tal-Linja” return to our streets.
“Tal-Linja” illustrates an ethereal if comical, giant hybrid of a renaissance dolphin and a traditional Bedford bus. It whiplashes over my favourite beach Għajn Tuffieħa, with a ridiculous smile and glazed eyes, contrasting against a Japanese inspired sun, representing the breaking of dawn. Contrary to my debut series “Epokaliss”, MeliTENSION takes a playful approach. This painting captures that sensation through the colours of a Maltese summer, a time to relax.