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a BLITZful morning

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Sunday, 1 September 2013

a BLITZful morning

I'm really, terribly sorry for the lame pun in this post's title, but i'm still nurturing an adrenaline rush from the morning's happenings.

While my neighbourhood was busily celebrating the village feast, I chose, as I almost always do, to run away from it.  It's not that I don't necessarily like traditional Maltese village feasts - it's just that this particular parish I happen to be 'part of' doesn't seem to celebrate it in the same way as I see others doing.  It's either that, or a natural rejection following years 'celebrating' it with the entire extended family that somehow lost its charm over the years.

Anyway, when I woke up this morning, as per usual, I checked my Facebook newsfeed and noticed that over the weekend I had missed out on the PopUp Pages event at Blitz in Valletta.  Now,  for those of you who haven't heard of Blitz as yet, let me give you a little background:

Blitz is a converted four-storey townhouse in the middle of Valletta, which has been turned into one of the most inspiring artist spaces I've seen in a while.  Allow me to lift a little snippet from their own press pack: "Blitz is a space to develop ideas, build relationships and nurture talent. It is a space for experimental, independent arts practice and a playground for ideas." (source: Blitz)

Usually, press packs and self-coined descriptions tend to be a bit hyperbolic.  Not this one.  What I found upon entering was a place which immediately - simultaneously - imbues you with a sense of history and modernity, a sense of reverence to the structure which has seen so much over the last 400 years, and a sense of creativity waiting to happen on its blank walls.  The place is still relatively new and hand on heart, I hope that it will not disappear due to lack of funding or interest as has been the destiny of a number of other similar initiatives over the years.  The island needs these spaces.  It is good to have the 'established' artists holding exhibitions left right and centre ... but there is a new breed of artists who are yearning for a means of conveying their messages and spaces like Blitz can be the right means to this end.

Back to this morning.  It's amazing how a spur of the moment decision can turn out into a great decision in a matter of minutes (about 90 minutes in my case - that's how much it took me to get ready and commute).  Through the PopUp Pages event, Blitz made available a number of independent publications which would otherwise probably never have hit our shores, unless one orders them specifically online.  I got myself a copy of Printed Pages and a copy of 032c, both of which spoke to my love for design and fashion.  Never having heard of these two magazines before, I must admit that what struck me most (i.e. was the selling point) particularly for 032c was its tag: "manual for freedom, research and creativity." Having bought these magazines, I also got a free copy of Patron, a local publication which I usually follow online.  And of course, I loved the CMYK / "print is not dead" Newspaper Club stickers that got thrown into my bag for free!

Another reason which drew me into visiting Blitz this morning was the fact that they have just started stocking Lomography cameras.  I have mentioned before that I have a Diana Baby 110 which runs on 110 film and I needed to touch base with Blitz as to where and how to get my film printed once it's done.  Having a local store which sells Lomography cameras and accessories will finally make it easier for us who want to venture back into analogue photography to give it a try and get our necessary gear.

Back at home, a few hours after setting off, I'm still reeling from this experience.  For most, it may not sound like much.  But for me, witnessing, first hand, efforts to give an outlet to young contemporary artists and those who share the love, is something that goes beyond the meaning of the words I tapped away in this post.

If you want to find out more about Blitz, visit their website or Facebook page

N.B. all opinions expressed in this review are the my genuine thoughts and have not been motivated by sponsors, affiliations or payment of any kind. 

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