As a foreigner living in the USA, family roots and heritage carry deeper meaning in my life. Through old childhood photographs from my family archive, I am able to reconnect and reconstruct the family ties that bind me to the root of my existence.
My family hails from Malta, a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea where the sandy-colored limestone walls still bear the scars from World War II. I grew up with stories of extreme hardship and pain experienced during the war, coupled with joyous childhood memories filled with simple pleasures, pursuits and adventures. The life-philosophy and family values that I absorbed as a child have been engraved in my psyche and I carry them with me every day, generations later, continents away.
The family portraits in this installation come from original negatives that surfaced after many years of being hidden away in dresser drawers and shoe boxes. Each photograph has been hand-printed with traditional darkroom techniques.
At the age of 20, in the middle of World War II, my grandmother gave birth to my father. Eighteen years later, she had 8 healthy, happy children. This exhibition is dedicated to her and the legacy she has left me with.