SeaCave (Entrance)
Cristina Iglesias

16 October 2021 – 31 December 2024

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The complex layering of cultural traces and memory permeating the Marsamxett harbourscape, St Michaels 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 Vallettas Hastings Garden, the bronze bas-relief work is eloquently articulated in the artists distinctive sculptural language. Sea Cave (Entrance) creates a profound and immersive sculptural environmentthrough 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
Admission: Free. Booking is not required
Viewing times: 07:00 – 19:00, Monday to Sunday

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.

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.

Image: Cristina Iglesias, Sea Cave (Entrance). Medium: bronze, water, hydraulic mechanisms and time, constructed Maltese landscape with soil, limestone boulders and Mediterranean flora. Location: Hastings Gardens, Valletta, Malta. 
Photo credit: Daniel Cilia. Courtesy of Malta International Contemporary Art Space, Cristina Iglesias Studio.

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 the University of the Basque Country (1976-1978) and then after a brief period in Barcelona practising ceramics and drawing, she studied Sculpture at the Chelsea School of Art in London, UK (1980-1982). She started exhibiting immediately after embarking on a career that has resulted in more than 60 solo and group exhibitions in Europe, North America and Japan. She was also granted a Fulbright scholarship to study at Pratt Institute, 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 2015 Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts, Spain, in 2019 the National Graphic Arts Award Spain and 2020 Royal Academy Architecture Prize, London.

Her public commissions include the following:

The Laurel Leaves in Moskenes sculpture in the Lofoten Island; the Centre Convencions Internacional in Barcelona; Deep Fountain, the Leopold de Waelplaats, Antwerp, 2006; the threshold-entrance for the Prado Museum extension, 2007; and the Estancias Sumergidas underwater sculpture in the Cortes Sea near Isla Espiritu Santo, in the Mexican state of Baja California, Tres Aguas en Toledo, Desde lo subterráneo, Centro Arte Botin, Santander, Forgotten Streams, Bloomberg, Londres, Inner Landscape (the Lithosphere, The Roots, The Water) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2020; Hondalea (Marine Abyss) at Santa Clara Island, San Sebastian, Spain, 2021; Sea Cave Entrance, MICAS, Malta, 2021; Landscape and Memory, Madison Square Park, New York, 2022; The Wet Labyrinth (With Spontaneous Landscape), Royal Academy of the Arts, London, 2020-2022.

Selected Exhibitions

CAPC Musée d ́Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, 1987; Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, 1991; Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 1994; Konrad Fischer Gallery, Düsseldorf, 1994; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and The Renaissance Society, Chicago, 1997; Palacio Velázquez, MNCARS, Madrid, 1998; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, 1998; Carré d ́Art, Musée d ́Art Contemporain, Nîmes, 2000; Donal Young Gallery, Chicago, 2000; Fundaçao Serralves, Porto, 2002; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 2003; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, 2006; Pinacoteca del Estado de São Paulo, Brazil, 2008;Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, 2009; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, 2011; Galerie Marian Goodman, Paris 2011; Museo Nacional Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2013; Casa França, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2013; Tres Aguas, Toledo, 2014; Marian Goodman London 2015; Musée Grenoble 2016; Konrad Fisher Gallery, Berlin 2017; Marian Goodman Gallery NY, and Centro Arte Botin, Santander 2018; Centre Pompidou × West Bund Museum, Shanghai, 2019; Centro Pompidou Málaga, 2020,;Thomas Schütte Foundation, Dusseldorf, and Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 2021; Gagosian, Davies Street, London, 2022.

Photo: Jose Luis Lopez Zubiria. Courtesy: Cristina Iglesias.

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