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  • Writer's pictureElena Posokhova

The cultural identity of the Mediterranean islands in the emerging art projects. MARLANDS.

Updated: Aug 14, 2022

The development of the art projects goes on. The artists are improving their research by exchanging ideas with the curators, scientists, craftsmen and artisans to uncover the uniqueness of their targeted island, to understand and reflect on the incomparable cultural identity of that island.

Edgar Sarin, Victoires , 2021


In his project, Edgar Sarin @lamediterranee666 creates an image of antiquity following the common harmonious forms, rituals, anthropocentric conceptions and sustainable consumption of the resources that surround us. At the same time, Sarin aims to contemplate the current situation with inaccessibility of drinking water on the island of Malta referring us to reflections on the importance of water source on islands and the formation of a specific culture around its consumption: from legendarily beautiful amphorae to facilities for rainwater collection.

His work “Ba'al is a rainwater collector. It is composed of vernacular materials: handmade ceramics, corrugated iron and wood”.

Edgar Sarin's proposal is a kind of time machine, aimed at the origins of civilization and myth. Ba’al is the name of the Phoenician god of rain and thunder. The project reflects on the importance of water resources by observing with new eyes the natural elements and the teak of the clay, both the ground zero of humanity.

Between the lines by Klitsa Antoniou, 2018


The work of the artist Klitsa Antoniou @klitsaantoniou is connected to water as well as its low accessibility and the transformations that are caused by this issue. In collaboration with a scientist, her work investigates the history of climate change as well as the risk of desertification, on the one hand, and sea level rise and inundation, on the other. These problems, on which Klitsa’s project is based, are equally critical for Cyprus. Drawing from Cyprus island, the installation Hydor-Is-land will insinuate the location of a coastal landscape or a seascape, the vastness of the underwater space characterised by an alternating transparency and the mysticism implied by the calm intensity of life beneath the surface of the sea. It will confirm the magnitude of the devastation and the vast human catastrophes and will attempt to highlight the ways in which works of art often beginning as intimate private testimonies may be transformed into public sites of history.


Hybridization with plastic is the reality of our days and its problematic poetically appears in the installation of artist Max Fouchy's @maxfouchy work. Together with the experts of the recycling process and the local craftsmens, he creates the hybrid of synthetic and natural materials - a kind of "parcel of sea" made of "pieces of water" treating the sea as a geometrical and manipulable territory.

Max Fouchy's project aims to transform the sea of plastic bottles in which we are immersed into a metaphorical sea of beauty shaping them in volcanic elements.

The comparison with the most widespread and polluting material but also the most useful and common for our everyday life is made in an attempt to bend plastic - and all that it symbolically represents - in organic forms or reminiscent of materials that are considered more precious and pure, such as glass.

Max Fouchy

Mallorca and Ibiza

Animals, birds, fish, plants... are an integral part of our everyday lives and an important part of traditions in mediterranean culture.

In her Lost Species project, Lucy Orta @lucyjorgeorta intends to explore a special bond that humans once had with wild and domesticated, real and mythical, common and rare living organisms, and to uncover symbolic or religious ties, ancestral rites and rituals that are associated with the living world and that are in danger of being lost from the knowledge systems of indigenous peoples in Western Europe.

As an important aspect of her work, Orta contributes to the preservation of the traditions of Malta, Sicily and Mallorca by collaborating with local ceramists in the creation of sculptures. Thanks to this, Lucy aims to transmit the features of each island, while using the local techniques and materials.

Lucy Orta


Human relations with fauna will be described in one of the art experiments that is currently under development of Taylor Alaina Liebenstein Smith @taylorsmithart. Capture and Release: Cartographia Refugia addresses the fragility of endemic plant communities in Mallorca. In a very poetic and fascinating way, Taylor Smith takes us along a path dotted with posidonia oceanica, naufragia balearica and ligusticum huteri - the endemic plants threatened by climate change and human activities. Almost invisible and mimetic, but full of reflection and thought, Taylor's project is based on careful observation of what already exists, using the ancestral power of the ritual as the only tool to reconnect to the earth, and video recording to preserve its memory. Drawing on local connections to other plant species, she will collaborate with llata craftswomen who continue the ancient tradition of weaving Mallorca's native garballó palm leaves into objects essential to the realisation of her cartographic rituals. The scientific support will be provided by the expert of botany Magdalena Vicens from Soller Botanical Garden and Maite Vázquez-Luis from IMEDEA.

Taylor Smith

We would like to thank the European Union @europeancommission that co-funds this project and all partners, curators, scientists and crafts studios and artisans from islands that support the artists throughout their journey in MARLANDS Art Residency.

IMEDMAR-UCV @imedmar_ucv Maritima @maritima01 Spazju Kreattiv @spazjukreattiv Es Baluard Museu @esbaluardmuseu Tree Opinno @opinnoitaly Cyprus University of Technology @cut_fine_arts Isola Catania @isola.catania Soller Botanical Garden @botanicsoller IMEDEA @imedea_uib_csic 4GoodCause @4goodcause_it

Elena Posokhova - Curator and Coordinator of MARLANDS project @elena_maritima Mariagrazia Pontorno - co-curator for Sicily @mariagraziapontorno Vince Briffa - co - curator for Malta @vincebriffa

José Rafael García March - scientific coordinator of IMEDMAR-UCV @imedmar_ucv

Magdalena Vicens - curator of Soller Botanical Garden @botanicsoller Joseph A. Borg - Associate Professor at the Department of Biology, University of Malta Dr. Reuben Grima - Senior Lecturer at the Department of Conservation & Built Heritage, University of Malta Maite Vázquez-Luis - marine biologist from IMEDEA @imedea_uib_csic Dr. Jorge Terrados - marine ecologist from IMEDEA @imedea_uib_csic Luana Manca - project manager of 4GoodCause @4goodcause_it

Arina Antonova - ceramist from Mallorca, studio AAA @aaarina Paul and Joan Haber - ceramist from Malta, studio Alka Ceramics Magda Masano - ceramist from Sicily, studio Folk @magdamasanofolk Enrica Arena - founder of Orange Fiber @orangefiberbrand Mario Condorelli - founder of Laboo @labooproject Daniela Tramacere - head of Precious Plastic Salento @realpreciousplastic Araceli Iranzo - specialist of Llata technique from Antic Mallorca @anticmallorca Anna Lena Kortmann - specialist of cordats mallorquins technique @studiojaia


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