A Japanese legend speaks of an invisible red thread tied from a person’s little finger to someone else’s with whom life has to intersect. According to this myth, human relations are designed by the gods through a red thread binding the little fingers of two people.
These two will share a common but important passage of life in a predestined time, space or circumstances. Regardless of these variables, the red thread may stretch or tangle, but never break. This legend takes us on a journey through a major artery starting from the heart to the little finger of a person, hence into an invisible world to another person’s little finger, and thus to another heart.
Kobba is the Maltese word for a clew, a ball of yarn or cord, in our case a ball of red thread that seems infinite but whose beginning and end never come together. The thread flows above the lower layer like a wave that washes on the shore and then retreats to make space for the next, in a never ending cycle. The clew is sown with scorching red stories. One layer above the next, the clew is the experiences and relations that shape us. A continuous red line that starts and finishes in a state of order or confusion, and that, once tangled, becomes impossible to restore.
The exhibition consists in a series of digital illustrations through which I would like to rediscover questions about human relations; those with ourselves but also those outside. Questions that refer to intimacy, romanticism, apathy, bodily greed and human values. I question what makes us whole, what we look for within us, and within those who relate to us. The human figure is central to this project, acting as a container, but also as a trigger. The woman, a metaphor for life in all its elements, becomes a model on whose body the red thread flows, slides and tangles to explore these dimensions in human relations.
The red string, flowing orderly or jumbled, is an indicator of direction or confusion. An indicator of journeys that lead us to a discovery of the self and a discovery of those who are close to us. The latter might not be visible, might not exist, might not want to be there or are mere audiences, just like you are.
Just like the red string, these illustrations toured Malta and Gozo in a series of public meetings during which those present were invited to share and discuss their own reactions to any red string by which they are bound. The tour stopped at the following venues lasting from September 2018 till March 2019:
- Private viewing 07/09/18: L’Enoteca – Rabat
- 14/19/18: Little Red Door – Valletta
- 28/09/18: Hosted by Mario – Xagħra, Gozo
- 19/10/18: Il-Baxa Café – Rabat
- 02/11/18: Gleneagles Bar – Mġarr, Gozo
- 14/11/18: Tat-Taraġ – Rabat, Malta
- 08/12/18: Hosted by Family Borg Micallef – Lija
- 15/03/19: Hosted by Antoine Farrugia – Mqabba
- Revealing the layers – Interview for Times of Malta by Adam Brimmer
- The invisible red thread – Feature for Times of Malta
- Pawlu Mizzi – You don’t have to be shy to assert that you’re an artist – Interview for maltachamber.org.mt by Martina Said, also published on The Commercial Courier/81 titled Exploring Connections