On March 16th, 2023, Dr Stefan Zrinzo, the Minister for Public Works and Planning, announced the selection of three projects for the Art in Public Spaces program, including Qalb ix-Xewk, our proposed artwork. The Art in Public Spaces program is a collaboration between the Public Works Department, Spazju Kreattiv, and the Arts Council Malta, with the aim of promoting synergy between artists and the community through co-creation and idea sharing for innovation.
‘Qalb ix-Xewk’ is an artwork created by Rachel Falzon and Mireille Tabone, who led the project’s narrative and design proposal. ‘Qalb ix-Xewk’ is a mirror which depicts the threat towards women – continously looking over our shoulder while trying do discern the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Presented as a heartfelt statement in memory of our sisters who were failed by a complacent society, the artwork is a reminder that femicides are on the rise. The site selected is significant, as Independence Garden in Sliema is where the recent femicide happened in close proximity.
The artwork depicts the pure surrounded by the predator. The ‘thorns’ are representative of the unnessary risks which women face on a daily basis. In contrast, the core represents fragility.
The aim of this artwork is beyond being a pretty object. Instead it communicates awareness ofthe crimes being commited and acts as a remembrace of the victims.