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  • Writer's pictureSara Pace

SAMOC Workshop with Deep Shelter Project

I have been working with Pam Baldacchino, artist-in-residence and project leader of Deep Shelter, on a series of works for the Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre in Malta. We've been collaborating together through a series of outside and studio based workshops since August 2016.

We started out by conducting an outside workshop which consisted of walking along the cliff side from Bahrija, following a trail leading down towards the sea. We were focusing on our physical abilities to walk along daunting and sometimes perilous edges, feeling the movement of our bodies and the guidance of our senses. We noticed how much the human being relies upon the senses, both for beauty and pleasure, but also to ensure our safety. These are natural functions, that we at times forget.

Once we'd arrived at the pre-planned stop, a plateau, we spent time exploring the space, but also meditating, absorbing the sense of peace caused by the natural silence of the space. We sketched the undulations of the rocks, seeking out the soft and hard textures created by the effect of the wind on the soft limestone. We also sought out the movement of the wind upon the sea surface, creating waves and the reflections in the water. We both gravitated towards the idea of representation using natural objects and reflecting the natural spaces.

From then on, we've been working between our two studios, again playing with the idea of the 'outside in', since this was the culmination of our outside workshop, that we wished to bring the outside in, for the patients and their families, while during their therapy sessions at the Oncology Centre. We'd visited the space on a number of times, seeing where the works would fit best, and how to create works which all could identify with.

The keywords were: natural, reflection, movement and texture.

The act of holding, molding and aiding - all abilities we can do through the use of our hands

Undulations in the rock face, inspired our later work

Effect of water upon stone

Human incursions reflecting the textures studied

Textures changing with the different rock layers

Studying the texture sculpted out by the wind

Tight spaces created by balanced rocks

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