Stormy Mediterranean Sea – Malta

Stormy Mediterranean Sea, Spinola Bay, Malta ©Jason Florio
Stormy Mediterranean Sea, Spinola Bay, Malta ©Jason Florio

 

Stormy Mediterranean Seas hit Malta

Images © Jason Florio / ©Helen Jones-Florio
Photographer, Jason Florio, photographs Stormy Mediterranean Sea, Spinola Bay, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Stormy Mediterranean Sea, Spinola Bay, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

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Press: ‘Paradigm Shift’ Malta – Monocle Magazine

 

Who Killed Daphne Caruana Galizia – memorial, Valletta, Malta © Jason Florio for Monocle Magazine.
Who Killed Daphne Caruana Galizia – memorial, Valletta, Malta © Jason Florio for Monocle Magazine.

 

‘The Paradigm Shift’ Monocle Magazine

After the killing of an investigative Maltese journalist, new torchbearers came forward to hold the government to account and battle corruption – words by Andrew Mueller / Images © Jason Florio for Monocle Magazine (print edition)

The Shift- co-founder, Caroline Muscat. image ©Jason Florio for Monocle Magazine
The Shift- co-founder, Caroline Muscat. image ©Jason Florio for Monocle Magazine

 

The Shift- co-founder, Jurgen Balzan. Image ©Jason Florio for Monocle Magazine
The Shift- co-founder, Jurgen Balzan. Image ©Jason Florio for Monocle Magazine

 

St Paul street with Maltese balconies in Valletta, Europe's capital of Culture 2018 - ©Jason Florio
Old Bakery Street, with Maltese balconies, in Valletta, Europe’s capital of Culture 2018 – ©Jason Florio

 

AUGUST 2018
CURRENTLY IN MALTA – COVERING EUROPE AND AFRICA
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Press: ‘How I’m seeing Malta disappear through its doors’ – Times of Malta

Old store front, Balluta Bay © Helen Jones-Florio
Old store front, Balluta Bay © Helen Jones-Florio

 

To find my bearings, I walked… and I walked. It’s the only way that I know to get a real sense of any place I’ve ever landed in. So, leaving the vast concrete and glass apartment complex, perched on a peninsula, I turned down one narrow side-street after another – off the main drag of Sliema – and the true architectural beauty of Malta began to reveal itself… Helen Jones-Florio / Times of Malta

 

Old doorway, Msida, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Old doorway, Msida, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Having lived long-term in two major capitals, London and New York, where ‘rejuvenation’, ‘gentrification’, ‘generi-fication’ – however you want to tag it – has left its mark, which sadly, all too often means taking something away…

 

Men sitting outside of an old store front, bus station, Valletta (no longer there), Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Old store front, bus station, Valletta (no longer there), Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Derelict house of character, and part of Maltese balcony, Sliema, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio
Derelict house of character, Sliema, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio

 

Each and every door or facade has a story – and, someone, somewhere on the island can tell it. And, I want to see what’s behind the doors – hence, I’m often peeking through letterboxes and broken windows! Read full feature in Times of Malta

Related posts ‘Disappearing Malta‘  & ‘Behind Closed Doors’

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Behind closed doors, Malta

Entrance to 'Savoy' house, Savoy Hill, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
A way in. The entrance to ‘Savoy’ house, Savoy Hill, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Abandoned, derelict, buildings have always held a fascination for me…

This particular one, a big house named ’Savoy’, is at the top of Savoy Hill, Gzira, Malta. It’s been derelict for the last three years, at least. Who knows how long prior to that. I’ve tried to find some information on it and the most I can come up with, thus far, is that it may have been a guest house.

Walking by the other day, Florio noticed that the front doors were open – they are usually padlocked with a big old rusty lock. Maybe there were workmen in there, at last, beginning a renovation project? ‘Hello, anybody home?’. No answer. What harm could it do, to take a quick peek? I’ve wanted to see inside this place since the first time we walked past it, three years ago.

'Savoy' house, interior, Gzira, Malta - old art deco chairs © Helen Jones-Florio
‘Savoy’ house, interior, Gzira, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio
Entering into the cool interior of what must have once been an impressive foyer, a beautifully ornate, wrought iron stairway, gracefully curves its way up to the first floor. Beneath our feet, and years of dust, beautiful old Maltese tiles, still very much intact in many places, line the floor. Could this have been a reception area? Several low-slung easy, art-deco style, armchairs, piled into one corner. And,  judging by wooden bed frames, stacked up high, one on top of the other, in another room, and numerous old wardrobes (in one of the rooms, they were mysteriously lined up, barricade-like, against panoramic floor to ceiling windows, as if to obstruct the light or, perhaps, to keep something, or someone, out? Derelict buildings always arouse my vivid imagination!) suggests that it could very well have been a guest house or small hotel.
'Savoy' house, interior, Gzira, Malta - old wardrobes barricade-like agains the window © Helen Jones-Florio
Barricade? ‘Savoy’ house, interior, Gzira, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio
The marble stairs still looked solid enough, so we carefully made our way up the first curving flight, onto the first-floor landing. Treading with caution, hoping that the potholed, rubble-strewn floor would hold our weight, we edged our way through a labyrinth of hallways, poking our heads into room after room, sunlight pouring in from the many broken windows, lighting our way (I’m not sure I’d have been so brave to explore if there hadn’t been any natural light. LIke I said, vivid imagination). From the outside – despite its present state of dilapidation – one could imagine that the building was once a house that would have stood out, regally, amongst its neighbours.  And, from what we could see, that would have been reflected in the interior, too.
'Savoy' house, interior, Gzira, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio
No exit – ‘Savoy’ house, interior, Gzira, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio

 

'Savoy' house, interior, Gzira, Malta - patio doors overlooking the garden © Helen Jones-Florio
Room with a view – ‘Savoy’ house, interior, Gzira, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio

 

Entrance to 'Savoy' house, Savoy Hill, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
‘Savoy’ house, Savoy Hill, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
I need to do some more digging, there must surely be photos somewhere, that depicts the house in it’s grander days, inside and out? Next time we pass by, and if we are lucky, and we find the front door is unlocked and open wide again, maybe we’ll venture up to the 2nd floor and onwards.

 

Helen Jones-Florio

 

Related work: Disappearing Malta / Doors & Facades #1 / Doors & facades #2

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