Stories lie at the heart of all our relationships. Whether they be with people, food, places, or flowers, our relationships and our lives are built on memory: the narrative thread that gives shape and meaning to our experiences. Over the course of nine months starting in 2015, the Stejjer Imfewħa project, organized by Charles Bennett and Simone Cutajar on behalf of Friends of the Earth and Integra, sat down with a number of migrants and natives to the island of Malta.
During the Stejjer Imfewħa workshops, participants were invited to interact with and share memories of various flowers, herbs, and spices, many of which held special significance not only in their personal lives, but also within their cultural heritages. Afterward I, along with the other artists involved with the workshops (Antonella Sgobbo, Sarah Mamo, Glen Calleja, and Kasia Zmokla) led participants in sessions that would allow them to turn their remembered experiences into works of art. My work involved shaping these thoughts and experiences into narratives of various forms, preserving the voices of the participants to be relived and shared anew.
The finished works were presented to the public at a multi-disciplinary exhibition curated by Sabrina Calleja Jackson at the Inquisitor’s Palace in Vittoriosa in June of 2016. I have also replicated the recordings here for posterity, and I invite everyone to observe these moments plucked from the lives of others, and to uncover their own stories—coloured, scented, or spiced as they are by the herbs and flowers that surround us.
2 thoughts on “Herbarium: An artistic heritage post”
I still have this beautiful booklet. It was a lovely initiative, and a really good exhibition. (I can’t believe it was so long ago already, gosh. Time flies when you’re standing still.)
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It really was such a wonderful project to be a part of. Probably the thing I miss most about Malta is how those sorts of opportunities just… pop up. I’m so glad you liked what we did!