Cristina Iglesias: Sea Cave (Entrance)

16 October 2021 onwards

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The complex layering of cultural traces and memory permeating the Marsamxett harbourscape, St Michael’s bastion and Hastings Gardens are the dramatic backdrop to Cristina Iglesias’ exciting new work, Sea Cave (Entrance).

Sea Cave (Entrance) brings to the surface that which may lie underneath. It unveils an imaginary opening to a subterranean space exploring hidden geologies, interconnections and the passage of time. Nestled within the landscape of Valletta’s Hastings Garden, the bronze bas-relief work is eloquently articulated in the artist’s distinctive sculptural language. Sea Cave (Entrance) creates a profound and immersive sculptural environment, through a reflective engagement with public space. The work hints at a liminal threshold, the potential entrance to a cave, with the sculptural form delving downwards to expose stratified layers and an imagined pitted and hollowed geology. The smoother upper overhangs contrast with the dynamic surges of underlying layers that bring to mind shoreline caves formed and eroded by the constancy of the sea.  Water, moving in slow or faster sequences, becomes the unifying element of the work as it seeks to catalyse perceptual engagement. Sea Cave (Entrance) is an open invitation for an immersive contemplative experience.


“The piece suggests an underground space related to the strata and geology of the place. It constructs the entrance to a possible bronze cave that connects with others that could exist within the rocky island of Malta.

There will be water running at different paces creating a sequence working with time and connecting mentally with the sea.”

Cristina Iglesias


Location: Hastings Gardens, Sappers Street, Valletta, Malta

Viewing times: Monday – Sunday, 7.00 – 19.00 hrs.

As a new exciting national acquisition that will remain accessible for the public to visit and enjoy at Hastings Gardens presently, Sea Cave (Entrance) will eventually be relocated to the MICAS Sculpture Garden on the San Salvatore Counterguard overlooking Marsamxett Harbour.


For any enquiries, please call on 21242183 or email

‘Sea Cave (Entrance)’ was unveiled during the MICAS International Art Weekend 2021 and it is supported by the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, Valletta Local Council, Embassy of the Kingdom of Spain, Malta Tourism Authority, Heritage Malta, Air Malta and Marian Goodman Gallery.



About the Artist



Cristina Iglesias was born in San Sebastián in November 1956. She currently lives and works in Madrid. Throughout her career, Iglesias has defined a unique sculptural vocabulary, building immersive and experiential environments that reference and unite architecture, literature and culturally site-specific influences.

She studied Chemical Sciences in her hometown, at the University of the Basque Country (1976-1978), and after a brief period in Barcelona practising ceramics and drawing, she studied Sculpture in the UK at the Chelsea School of Art in London (1980-1982). She started exhibiting immediately after. She was granted a Fullbright scholarship to study at Pratt Institute in 1988.  

In 1995 she was appointed Professor of Sculpture at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, Germany, and in 1999 she won Spain’s National Visual Arts Prize. In 2012 she won the Grosse Kunstpreis Berlin, in 2019 the National Graphic Arts Award, and the 2020 Royal Academy Architecture Prize, London. 

She has represented Spain twice at the Venice Biennale, at the 42nd edition in 1986 and at the 45th edition in 1993; at the Biennale of Sydney in 1990 and 2012; at the 1995 Carnegie International, Museum of Art Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh; at the Taipei Biennial in 2003; at the SITE Santa Fe Biennial in 2006 and at the Triennale of Folkstone in 2011. She also represented her country at the world fairs held in Seville in 1992 and Hanover in 2000.

Her work has been shown recently in solo exhibitions at Centro Botín, Santander, Spain (2018); Musée de Grenoble, France (2016); BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium (2014); a large retrospective at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain (2013); and at Casa França, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2013). Earlier solo shows have been exhibited at Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany (2006); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Republic of Ireland (2003); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2003); Museu Serralves, Fundaçao Serralves, Oporto, Portugal (2002); Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (1999), Guggenheim New York, USA (1997); Renaissance Society, Chicago, USA (1997), Kunstverein Für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany (1988).

Recent public commissions include Hondalea (Marine Abyss) at Santa Clara Island, San Sebastian, Spain (2021), Inner Landscape (the Lithosphere, The Roots, The Water) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA (2020), The Forgotten Streams at Bloomberg Headquarters in London, UK (2017), Tres Aguas, Toledo, Spain (2014), the Vegetation Room (2010−2012) in the Inhotim in Brazil and doors Portón – Pasaje / Gates – Passage at the entrance to the extension to the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, Spain (2007), Deep Fountain, Leopold de Waelplaats, Antwerp, Belgium (1997-2006).


Photo: Jose Luis Lopez Zubiria. Courtesy: Cristina Iglesias. Location:  Alfa Arte Foundry.

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