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Gozo. Idyllic, serene and with a character of its own. What attracts people to cross over to the sister island, which is so close and yet “so far” in character, soul and landscape?  Will this charm still be around in a few years time?

 

I have visited the island often, and for various reasons. I find solace and peace and I find fertile ground for photographic creative narrative.  Scourging its narrow streets and alleyways, particularly in the old part of town, I often wonder as to how long this delightful legacy will last.  A veil of stillness hangs in the air. The archaic simplicity of traditional dwellings, the slower way of life as the inhabitants go about their daily rituals and the quasi-arcane shroud that envelopes the island keep attracting me to it.  There is almost a sense of naivety in all of this, particularly in the older parts of the island where the typical Gozitan tranquil way of life still permeates the ambience. A rich iconography of faith and religion is juxtaposed against colourful and sometimes imaginative house-names whilst ornate facades of houses belonging to returned migrants rub shoulders with simpler timeworn abodes.  

 

As a frequent visitor I have now started to wonder if all this will eventually be lost due to rampant development and the commercial pressures that come with increased tourism. Having been invited to take part in this project, I embarked on this journey to capture elements of these innate aspects of our tiny sister island.  Elements that might have eluded me before, but which I also wanted to see in a new light. A light that sheds more meaning to the identity of this island.

Part of this collection was exhibited in the exhibition: Identity of an Island - Contemporary Art Collective and Academic Conference at Astra Theatre in Gozo in May 2022.