The invisible red thread

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 Project

A series of digital illustrations through which questions about human relations are revived; questions within ourselves but also outside of our personal realm. Questions that refer to intimacy, romanticism, apathy, bodily greed and human values. This work questions what is it that 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 the theme. The tour stopped at the following venues starting September 2018 up to 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

The Media


Series Kobba
Size 30 × 40 cm
Medium Digital print on Fedrigoni Tintoretto Gesso 300gsm
Collection Various collections

Scrivimi decine di lettere quando te ne andrai

E adesso me ne vado via

Hai visto com’è strana la città

Se potessi ti salverei dalla fine del mondo

Rimuovere le rose dalle spine

Come mai ora sembri diversa

I vini delle nostre uve migliori

Il tuo cuore irraggiungibile

E chissà se mi dici tutto quello che pensi

Dimmi come si fa

Ballando stando fermi