Exploring Malta's Melting Heart.
Published on Künstler, Künsterlin 2020.
This sequence was created in Malta, mostly on the island of Gozo, at a retreat. The sequence is named ‘melting heart,’ after the yoga pose, which focuses on the act of surrender.
Malta has been exhaustively celebrated for its picture-perfect, paradisiacal old-world scenery. But le Roux’s eye seeks out a less-seen story, a story of the old Malta surrendering to time and nature. As a new Malta is built in its place.
Here she was most drawn to Malta’s barriers: fences and doors, and the borders around water. And the details of these barriers: intricate door knockers, religious iconography, the meetings of a metal pole with old cracked mouldy concrete. All decaying, all eroding. Under salt spray and sun.
These borders take on an additional pathos, when considered in the context of Malta’s redevelopment. As new luxury compounds and hotels are built across the mainland, and even across the island of Gozo, these old symbols are being left to fade into dust.
The widest shot, of the Mediterranean Sea, is framed by the ancient salt flats that precede it. The other photographs react to this macro-context, by focusing more minutely upon the micro-grace-notes of the island. And as they zoom in, the interplay of Gozo’s colours is pushed towards abstraction.
Together, these pictures tell a story that is both intimate and richly melancholic. A story that is reaching out towards an inner unnameable mood: Malta’s melting heart.
Text by Jonathan Lyon