The human form in ancient Malta has been celebrated as world patrimony since the dawn of art’s historical reference. The use of the figure even predates the building of stone temples, so primary is the human form to the culture of the island.
To create a work of art capable of establishing a taproot in this great tradition presents a wonderful challenge. This visual language already speaks of priests, goddesses, earth mothers, and shamans. The fertile Maltese mind expresses both the mortal and the divine.
The Palm Goddess for Malta by American artist Michele Oka Doner is a work of art that embraces the figurative tradition of the ancient past. The sculpture also draws inspiration from the monumental leaves of Phoenix dactylifera, a palm that inhabits the Maltese archipelago.
This abstract but definitely female form is c. 4 metres high, a soaring figure held aloft on a c. 2 meters “trunk” that symbolises growth from the Maltese soil. Just as the vast majority of archaeological finds represent a deity, something sacred, The Palm Goddess for Malta embodies human aspiration and the desire to be lifted up and moved forward by creative expression.
The sculpture is cast in bronze and patinated green. Its palm motif is beautiful, timeless, and resonates with the striated skirts depicted on so many of the ancient figures found in the Maltese temples.
The Palm Goddess for Malta by Michele Oka Doner was unveiled during the MICAS International Art Weekend 2022.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Location: Pjazza Teatru Rjal, Republic Street, Valletta
Admission: Free. Booking is not required
Viewing times: open all day, Monday to Sunday
Image: “Palm Goddess for Malta” ©️2022 Michele Oka Doner. All rights reserved”. Medium: patinated cast bronze. Location: Pjazza Teatru Rjal, Valletta, Malta.
Photo by Sean Mallia. Courtesy of Malta International Contemporary Art Space (MICAS) and Doner Studio, New York.