Malta in a Nutshell

in a Nutshell

3rd October 2019

For this series at Torri, we chose to explore a few of the Maltese culture’s double meanings. Through this collection, we aimed to capture Maltese characteristic symbols with the use of frames. By fitting an illustration into a frame representing a linking concept, we strived to achieve a sense of depth and perspective in our pieces.

When it came to our ‘Malta in a Nutshell’ series, the goal was to capture the pinnacle elements of what makes Malta. We began by listing down everything that came to mind when thinking about the islands. The list we finished with was ridiculously long so the

next task included boiling it down to a shortlist of the top elements that truly struck us as Maltese. The end product resulted in this series, which we like to refer to as our personal branding of the Maltese Islands.

Malta in a Nutshell Promo

We then decided to include interlinking elements that could be used in the design itself. After countless sketches, the idea was finally taking shape and started to look a lot like the published final products. The title, ‘Malta in a Nutshell’ is synonymous with how within the outer shell of a nut is the edible nut itself – the true product. So, we decided to

pair up two interlinking aspects, just as though the frame is the outer shell whilst the image within is the nut from our chosen metaphor. The five final concepts that we believed could convey Malta ranged from well known aspects, like the traditional Maltese buses and the Azure Window to lesser known icons, like Malta’s local beer.

The limited pieces consist of a Smooth Art Paper print at the back, with a 5mm Perspex in front, all neatly framed into one creative piece. The Perspex acts as a frame to the back print, having a 1-inch distance between them, therefore creating immense depth. The whole point of this series was to create depth by framing an interlinking subject to its core. In our ‘Malta’s Beer’ print, the beer

can sits on the outer Perspex with an empty frame giving insight to the symbolic image of the yellow blazing sun which creates the yellow fields from which Malta’s famous beer is harvested. This symbolizes what lies inside of every single beer can – Malta’s 300 days of sunshine and fertile fields. Through this idea, we strived to change the game when it comes to framed art.

Behind the scenes

This series didn’t only include experimenting with new mediums and styles, but it also featured a lot of research and running around. There’s a combination of design, artistic creation and videography. Each piece has a short film on its origins and what the subject matter truly represents. This approach gave us the opportunity to meet some of Malta’s finest characters for each respective topic. We’ve interviewed a traditional Maltese bus driver, a local luzzu fisherman, a retired farmer, a woodworker and the mayor of San Lawrenz, Gozo. One of

the highlights of all the work we put in to achieve the final product was discovering that every single design has their own story, passion and devotion towards the respective craft. You just can’t put a price on those kinds of experiences. These are some of the people that made Malta what it is. This series was a very time-consuming project, but as they say, “Good work takes hard work.” Our Malta in a Nutshell series is sure to brighten up any room and adds that minimal Maltese character that’s bound to put a smile on anyone’s face

“If life gives you nuts, then be a nutcracker.” ― Vikrmn, Guru with Guitar

Written By

Scott Schembri



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