In anticipation of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) being held until today at the Radisson SAS Golden Sands Resort, Maltese artist Jennifer Lonfat conceived an installation to be put up on the beach of Golden Sands.
Lonfat first came to my attention a couple of years ago at the first collective Unità exhibition that started being held annually in Marsascala. Since then she has taken part in some other collective exhibitions, apart from having her first solo exhibition at the Malta Yacht Club on Manoel Island this year. Now relatively little known, is an enterprising artistnin every sense. It surely needed more than an average sense of initiative to big deeply into her resources to produce something like her work at Golden Sands.
It was about a few weeks ago prior to the Malta Commonwealth meeting that Lonfat, while on a visit at Hagar Qim where she was making sketches of the megaliths, thought about giving her contribution to the event by creating an installation with a number of panels on the sany shores by way of creating a node of attraction from the newly-opened hotel that for the past few days hosted the heads of government.
Helping Jennifer Lonfat in her initiative were sculptor Antione Farrugia and lighting expert and artist Clinton Zammit, both from Mqabba. Other helpers were Tonio Dingli and Kenneth Farrugia. Without their physical assistance she would be the first to admit that would have remaind stranded on the beach!
Lonfat’s idea was to place her installation under the Commonwealth colours of blue and yellow as appearing in the Commonwealth flag, together with white. The entire installation is inclined at 10 degrees to be in line with the viewpoint from the hotel. The installation at Golden Sands consists of 25 panels of different heights,the maximum being 4.5 metres, constituting a surrealistic interpretation of the megalithic temples.They are grouped together in a roughly circular plan that, together with 16 lights that constitute the outer perimeter, and the 20 lights inside,is about 40 metres in diameter.Between the `megalithic` structures and the outer lights in a circle of life.
The visual source of the entire structure is definitely the Maltese temple period. One panel makes it basically clear with the `fat lady` image on it.The others could give us the impression of a trilithon or else meander away into surrealistic imagery that tense our perception all the way.
Looking at these panels both from close range but especially from a distance should make the viewer come to terms with the essence of our unique prehistoric heritage but even more so with the artist`s original interpretation of those elemental shapes that challenge our imagination.Each panel looks like a bearer of white icicles, a solitary presence and yet collectively unified.
For the Commonwealth heads the experience of dipping their imagination at the idyllic setting of Golden Sands should serve as an added incentive during their short stay on the island.
Considering the fact that the installation was out of bounds for the people because of the tight security that prevailed at the hotel, its grounds and the beach, Jennifer Lonfat plans to have the installation ( or at least part of it) shown at a later stage at some more central venue in the near future.