Malta’s MICAS International Art Weekend 2021 has witnessed the unveiling of a stunning new sculpture by the artist Cristina Iglesias. You may have been lucky enough to see her significant new lighthouse installation on Donostia-San Sebastián’s Santa Clara Island, where she has transformed a disused lighthouse into a Kinetic sculpture. Closer to home, a similar cave pool has been installed outside the new Bloomberg European headquarters in London.
Water runs at different paces, creating a sequence working with time and connecting mentally with the sea.” — Cristina Iglesias
Iglesias brings into being outdoor structures and installations using water as an integral element soliciting the viewer to follow the water’s flow and surge progressions pensively. She offers compositions of many layers, textures, illusionary depths, and created sequences: metaphors for memory, life, and uncovering what is underneath.
Sea Cave (Entrance) is compelling. The magnificent setting overlooking the ancient harbour of Valletta enhances this national acquisition that will remain accessible for the public to visit and enjoy at Hastings Garden. The work will eventually be moved to the MICAS Sculpture Garden on the San Salvatore Counterguard, Marsamxett Harbour. Past commissions by Ugo Rondinone and Pierre Huyghe have been embraced by the public and received global attention.
Work is underway to turn Malta, best known for some of Caravaggio’s most significant work, into an international Contemporary art centre. A new museum designed by the Florence-based architects IPOStudio is currently under construction under the stewardship of Chair Phyllis Muscat with board members Georgina Portelli and the interior designer Francis Sultana. The government generously supports the project.
Cristina Iglesias was born in San Sebastián in November 1956. She currently lives and works in Madrid. Throughout her career, Iglesias has defined a unique sculptural vocabulary, building immersive and experiential environments that reference and unite architecture, literature, and culturally site-specific influences. She has represented Spain twice at the Venice Biennale, at the 42nd edition in 1986 and the 45th edition in 1993.
Sea Cave (Entrance) hints at a liminal threshold, the potential entrance to a cave, with the sculptural form delving downwards to expose stratified layers and an imagined pitted and hollowed geology. The smoother upper overhangs contrast with the dynamic surges of underlying layers that bring to mind shoreline caves formed and eroded by the constancy of the sea. Water, moving in slow or faster sequences, becomes the unifying element of the work as it seeks to catalyse perceptual engagement. The work is an open invitation for an immersive, contemplative experience.
“The piece suggests an underground space related to the strata and geology of the place. It constructs the entrance to a possible bronze cave that connects with others that could exist within the rocky island of Malta.
The artist (b.1956) creates deep contemplative spaces of imagination using a unique sculptural vocabulary expressed in work that can be found in inner cities or remote islands.
The MICAS International Art Weekend 2021 fulfils MICAS’ remit to showcase cutting-edge contemporary art and artists and bridge with the global art community, placing Malta firmly on the international art scene.
All Photos © P C Robinson Artlyst 2021