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People and activities that enchanted at the Sliema Arts Festival

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Although we arrived slightly later than planned – make that an hour (or two), the Tower road in Sliema was teeming with both tourists and locals walking along the promenade, pausing to look at artists drawing on canvas, or to listen at other painters explaining their finished works. The festival, which ran on the 15th, 16th, and 17th of July, had a number of events, parties by the sea, kiosks, merchandise, budding (and more established) painters and street artists, and also a few practitioners of rare, dying crafts.

Ellen Linde

Ellen Linde made Henna (a dye prepared from a flowering plant and used for temporary body art) tattoos and exhibited her new art at the Sliema Arts Festival. Her portraits and abstract paintings made her a favourite amongst young adults and students.

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The Music

For those who reach the end of the stalls along the promenade, a simple flight of stairs will take them to the rocky beaches underneath tower road. Kiosks, Djs, and bars lined the entire coast. Each stop had its own vibe, from specific local bands, to Jazz music.

sliema the view

Spray painting

I genuinely tried to ask for the names of those whom I took a picture of, but I could not bring myself to disturb this person as he worked on this painting. Yes, he created these paintings right there. His technique and prowess attracted a large crowd of people, all curious to see what the finished product would look like. I had to forcefully drag myself to the next stand to see the other artists dotting the promenade.

artists painting

Gergana Miteva – Gi.Ga.

We couldn’t agree whether to use her actual name or street name, so I chose to do both. My picture doesn’t do this painting justice. Like other artists, Gergana Miteva happily conversed with onlookers who asked about spray painting, her technique, and the painting itself.

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The Handloom

Seeing a traditional craft, especially one as old as weaving, was a pleasant surprise. People stood around him, elbow-to-elbow, fascinated by the complex movements as he weaved bags, throes, and rugs. This machine was invented in the early 19th century.

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The handcrafted artefacts

Adorable quotations, beautiful illustrations, and stunning carvings attracted hordes of people who wanted to opt for something unique and personal.

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Tittanilla Toth

One of the most versatile painters I found. From portraits of famous personas to more abstract pieces, Tittanilla Toth certainly impressed many people.

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Shoe Art

Shoe design taken to another level. One of the most crowded stops along Tower road was easily this stand where a number of artists made designs on shoes. It was definitely one of the more original and contemporary crafts of the evening.

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The Food

Dispersed along the street were a multitude of kiosks that struggled to keep up with the demand. Featuring multi -ethnic street food type dishes, one could easily find Mexican, Turkish, Chinese and, of course, Maltese food.

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The evening had music, art, and food – the three necessary ingredients for any cultural festival.

If you weren’t lucky enough to make it this year, make sure to mark it in your diary for next summer and give it a try!

Credits

Kim Bezzina Jones – provided a selection of pictures from the evening

 


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