With the ongoing success of the collaboration between Carla Grima Atelier and The New Victorians, Carla was eager to explore further involvement and collaboration across a variety of artistic mediums.
Ongoing restrictions and limitations on events due to the status of the pandemic, left the local cultural scene lacking, and the Maltese public deprived of their usually abundant, uplifting and inspiring events calendar. This inspired Carla to brainstorm with fellow creatives, to put together a series of events that offered an immersive and multi-sensory experience for the audience, in a safe and inclusive way.
Teaming up with art director Anna Peftieva and pianist Yun Cai, the concept for the first event came together in the form of Silk In Motion; an improvised performance exploring the emotion of silk through music. The concept developed further with the addition of dancers Valentine Saucy and Justine Schembri, as well as writer Julia Ripard. This was set to be a soft-launch of sorts, previewing the first of a series to be continuing on in 2022. Attendance was by invite only, and the audience was hand-selected by the organisers.
The dancers moved in response to the music, Julia’s words, and to the feel and flow of Carla’s designs that they were all wearing. The event took place at the historic Palm Court Lounge of the Phoenicia Hotel in Valletta, where Carla was the artist-in-residence at the time of the event. The grandeur of the room provided the perfect setting and acoustics for the performance, with ample comfortable seating areas surrounding the Yun and the piano, at its centre.
The underlying theme of the event was inspired by the Blue Zones of Happiness. Split into four parts, each act represented one of the four Blue Zones of the world; Sardinia, California, Greece and Japan, where the most centenarians live and where it is suspected that the residents are among the happiest and healthiest in the world. Each look was selected to suit the individual countries and cultures, and together the team of artists collaborated on certain keywords and common elements that would feature across the selection of mediums involved. Yun and the dancers sat in on these discussions, to acquaint themselves with the overarching storyline and to understand the sequence and flow of events during the performance, as determined by Ana and Carla.
The overall performance was an expression of art across multiple mediums, a harmonious story told through texture, colour, movement, music and prose. The aim was to invite the audience to experience a greater depth of meaning from the items of the collection, by tying in all senses to the experience.
Images by Ines Bahr