an artist’s perspective
A picture says a thousand words, or so the saying goes. I was tempted to paint something to represent post referendum Malta. First I thought of a post battle scene with the victors celebrating and the losers licking their wounds but since there were no celebrations and by the looks of it, it’s not over yet, I might opt for a fully fledged battle scene depicting Deborah Schembri at the forefront calmly taking on Andre Camilleri or maybe Arthur Galea Salamone, or maybe both.
This will be a busy scene, I would need to find space for all the protagonists from both sides. JPO in shining armour is a possibility, weeping his way to battle with Varisto ‘Che’ Bartolo, the social liberator on his right, no maybe on his left or should that be Miguel ‘Che’ Briguglio? Need to think more about this. Don’t know if Mgr. Mario Grech should be painted shooting himself in the foot or shooting the Moviment LE in the back or better still putting the noose around his church’s head. And what about Oblique Clyde Attard? Should he be depicted as the Moviment Iva’s unwilling hero or the embodiment of Malta’s conservative religious right? Maybe the best place for him would be on a small hill with Angelik and Tonio Fenech, all three trying in vain to get hold of ‘Our Lady’. And that’s another scene, ‘Our Lady’ putting the phone off the hook because she couldn’t be bothered. Even She has had enough.
And the Church? That should be easy, a small city surrounded by high walls, where the siege mentality reigns supreme. Its followers blocking its doors and fighting off the Trojan horse sent by the Kattolici Iva Ghax Dritt. I also need to find space for the Facebook Battallion and the Bloggers Special Forces. Armed with personal computers, laptops, iphones and the latest gadgets this battalion of social commentators need to be at the forefront of the battle scene. Yes, I got it, Deborah Schembri is flanked on both sides by two battalions, the Facebook Battallion on one side and the printed media on the other and the Bloggers Special Forces as her guard. Wait, what about ‘Il-Mument’? They surely won’t fit with the rest of the media in this scene. Their place would be right at the back of the city walls, offering an invaluable service to those who need to defecate.
Yet, I feel that there is something missing. What about the majority of our political class? Where should I fit those ‘free voters’ that completely abdicated their responsibility to represent their fellow countrymen? They just don’t fit in this scene. Maybe I will opt for a diptych, one panel for the battle, the other for our politicians, portrayed playing the waiting game.
The more I think about it the more convinced that this painting would probably end up being a mess; too complex, too many details, too many focal points and yet very few points are clear. What is clear though is that on this rock things have changed. Don’t know when this change happened but for the first time in my life, I am seeing more people feeling detached from the powers that be, from the political parties and from the church. Now I need to start painting, still a lot of work needs to be done but I better not complain, had the ‘No’ Movement won, the only colour I would use is BLACK.