Doors and Facades

Derelict facade of an old house of character, Triq San Pawl, Bormla, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio
Derelict facade of an old house of character, Triq San Pawl, Bormla, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio

 

I’ll be updating, on a regular basis, my ‘Disappearing Malta‘ series on the ‘Doors and Facades’ page.

First post on the new page:

On one of my many island rambles, the other day, to find more doors and facades to photograph, I jumped onto one of the small local boats that ferry people from the Grand HarborValletta, on the short ride over to the Three Cities.

Walking around the narrow back streets of Bormla (also known as Cospicua), whilst photographing an old door, of the many derelict houses in the area, I was approached by two very young girls – around 6 and 9 years old, respectively. ‘You like this door?’ the older of the two said. ‘Come, I will show you more…’

this is where my grandfather lived when he was a boy’, my unintended chaperone told me… read/ see more on Doors and Facades

ld red door, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Old red door, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

I hope you that you will stop by

Helen Jones-Florio

Helen Jones-Florio, Valletta vintage storefront ©Jason Florio
Helen Jones-Florio, Valletta vintage storefront ©Jason Florio

 

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Doors and Facades – photography prints ©Helen Jones-Florio

A page dedicated to my love of all things doors and facades, from wherever I find myself in the world. Currently, it’s the tiny little Mediterranean island of Malta. And, if there is a story to be told, even better.

All are available as photography prints. For more information, contact me via the @doors_facades_florio Instagram page, or here, on the blog.

I hope you enjoy looking at them, as much as I do.

Helen Jones-Florio

doors & facades

 

August 2018

And, ‘this is where my grandfather lived when he was a boy’, my young guide announced…

ld red door, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Old red door, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

On one of my island rambles, to find more doors and facades to photograph, the other day, I jumped onto one of the small local ferry boats from the Grand Harbor, Valletta, for the quick ride over to Three Cities.

Walking around the narrow back streets of Bormla (also known as Cospicua), whilst photographing an old door, of the many derelict houses in the area, I was approached by two very young girls – around 6 and 9 years old, respectively. ‘You like this door?’ the older of the two said. ‘Come, I will show you more’. As she led me down the street, she proceeded to inform me as to which houses were empty, and which were not – and one house, in particular, she announced that ’the lady died so you can live there’. (‘I’m sorry‘, I said, to which she shrugged nonchalantly ‘it’s ok‘).

And, ‘this is where my grandfather lived when he was a boy’, my unintended chaperone told me, as she and her younger sister (who said nothing, but just stared at me the whole time, from beneath a long black fringe) led me to yet more doors, down an adjacent narrow street. ‘You like this door, it’s (the house) empty, so you can buy this one’. I replied that I would have to consult my bank manager.

#disappearingmalta

I’m both amused and perturbed by their attention – after all, the two minors were leading a complete stranger on a tour of the back streets of Bormla (or, worse yet, it would appear to be the other way around). As I was about to say that perhaps they should go home, a disembodied male voice boomed, in Maltese, from the direction of the street where I had met the girls. To which, they turned and began to run towards the voice, the older girl shouting back over her shoulder at me, ‘bye-bye, ciao!’, whilst waving, as they turned the corner. And, just like that, they were gone… I didn’t even get to know their names.

Here are few more doors and facades from Bormla/ Cospicua/Hamrun/Sliema/St Julians

See more of Helen Jones-Florio’s doors and facades on WordlyImages (flickr)

Derelict facade of an old house of character, Triq San Pawl, Bormla, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio
Derelict facade of an old house of character, Triq San Pawl, Bormla, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio

 

PRESS: TIMES OF MALTA – 

‘How I’m seeing Malta disappear through its doors’

A photographer shoots the death of Malta’s architectural history

Ornate wrought iron and vintage green/blue door, Triq San Pawl, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Ornate wrought iron and old door, Triq San Pawl, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

'Universal Store', Triq I-Ifran, Valletta, Malta - vintage storefront © Helen Jones-Florio
‘Universal Store’, Triq I-Ifran, Valletta, Malta © Helen Jones-Florio

 

'Omega' Vintage storefront/shop front doors, shoemakers and repairs, Triq San Frangisk, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
‘Omega’ Vintage storefront doors, shoemakers, Triq San Frangisk, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

See more of Helen Jones-Florio’s doors and facades on WordlyImages (flickr)

 

Blue door, Triq Farsons, Hamrun, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Blue door, Triq Farsons, Hamrun, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Shuttered doors and windows, facade of derelict house, Triq Felic, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Shuttered doors and windows, Triq Felic, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Old red doors of derelict house, Sqaq Santa Liena, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Old door of a derelict house, Sqaq Santa Liena, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
'Simpsons', retro storefront, derelict, Triq Dom Mintoff, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
‘Simpsons’, retro storefront, Triq Dom Mintoff, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Old shop front/storage unit green doors, Triq San Pawl, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Old shop front/storage unit doors, Triq San Pawl, Bormla, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

#disappearingmalta

'Paul Sultana' Elegance and Style - closed down, storefront, Manwel Dimech St, Sliema, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
‘Paul Sultana’ Elegance and Style – vintage storefront, Manwel Dimech St, Sliema, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Turquoise door, Balluta Bay, St Julians, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Turquoise door, Balluta Bay, St Julians, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
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Target practice? Old wooden door with bullet holes(?), Triq San Gwan Battista, Sliema, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Target practice? Triq San Gwan Battista, Sliema, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

'Canberra' (no longer there) Vintage Shop Front- Valletta © Helen Jones-Florio
‘Canberra’ Vintage Shop Front, Triq San Pawl- Valletta © Helen Jones-Florio

Sadly, the above ‘Canberra’ shop and adjacent doors are no longer there. #disappearingmalta

The door with 4 locks, Triq San Gwann, Valletta, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
The door with 4 locks, Triq San Gwann, Valletta, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

See more of Helen Jones-Florio’s doors and facades on WordlyImages (Flickr)

 

Closed down - British Army & Navy Bar, Triq il-Kbira San Gizelle, Hamrun ©Helen Jones-Florio
British Army & Navy Bar, Triq il-Kbira San Gizelle, Hamrun ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

'Paul's Store', vintage storefront, St Christopher St, Valletta. Image ©Helen Jones-Florio
‘Paul’s Store’, St Christopher St, Valletta. Image ©Helen Jones-Florio
Photography prints - 'Paul's Store', vintage storefront, St Christopher St, Valletta. Image ©Helen Jones-Florio
Photography prints – ‘Paul’s Store’, St Christopher St, Valletta. Image ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

All doors and facade images are available as photography prints. Please contact us here for prices, sizes, shipping, etc.

'Joseph Ferrugia store & Scooter' Pieta, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio photography prints
#Disappearingmalta ‘Joseph Ferrugia store & Scooter’ Pieta, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

#DisappearingMalta series - 'Joseph Farrugia store & Scooter' Pieta, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio framed photography prints
‘Joseph Farrugia store & Scooter‘ Pieta, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio photography prints

 

#Disappearingmalta 'Smiling Store', Marsa, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio photography prints
#Disappearingmalta ‘Smiling Store’, Marsa, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

 

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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Doors & Facades, Malta – Flickr

Disappearing Malta – an unintentional photo series of doors and facades

Disappearing Malta Series - badly decaying facade of a house of character, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series -a badly decaying facade of a house of character, Msida, Malta. One of the very first doors that I photographed, in 2015, whilst waking to Valletta, which I searched in vain for the other day and I couldn’t see it. I suspect it was where there is now a construction site  ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta – vestiges of a tiny Mediterranean Island

When we first arrived on the island, three years ago, from living and working in West Africa, the contrast was stark. All I could see was what appeared to be concrete and glass multi-story structures (Sliema was our first home and for those who know the town, they will almost surely understand my first (mis)impressions). I seriously wondered what would inspire me to get my camera out – in West Africa, it was hardly ever not pointed at something or other. Yet, thankfully, within those first few days, I discovered ‘the doors‘.

 

Disappearing Malta Series - badly decaying front door of a house of character, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series – badly decaying front door of a house of character, Msida, Malta. Another from the start of this photo project ‘found’ whilst walking to Valletta. It is still there, today (July 2018), but a large swath of the area around it is now under construction ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Florio was off on the assignment that brought us to the island, on an NGO vessel in the Mediterranean, documenting migrant and refugee rescues. So, I had some time to find my bearings and walking is just about the best way I can think of, to get to know any place I’ve ever lived in or travelled to.

Disappearing Malta Series - 'Meme' vintage shop front, Valletta, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series – ‘Meme’ vintage shop front, Valletta, Malta. I love the vintage sign, and red is one of my favourite colours ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Leaving the vast concrete and glass apartment complex, where we were staying at the time, I  turned down one narrow side-street – off the main drag of Sliema – after another and the true architectural beauty of Malta began to reveal itself.  And so it was, during those first days on the island, my unintentional ‘Disappearing Malta‘ series began and I’ve been photographing doors and facades on the island ever since. Hence, my camera doesn’t have to collect dust between our assignments after all, as I’m still finding more to photograph each and every time I take a walk.

 

Disappearing Malta - a cat sits on an old balcony, Valletta, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta – a cat sits on the railings of an old balcony, Valletta, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

‘I often wonder if anyone still lives in this building or is it just the cats…’

I’ve always been captivated by imperfections, the wabi-sabi, of things – drawn to the echoes of places that once were. Spaces and places that no longer exist; or at least not in their original form. And, I’m particularly drawn to architecture.  I now have a growing obsession to capture the decaying beauty of the abandoned Maltese houses of character, before they disappear completely.

Disappearing Malta Series - 'Paces Press' vintage store front, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series – ‘Paces Press’ vintage store front, Gzira, Malta.  ©Helen Jones-Florio
”Paces Press’ – Yet another early days discovery and one of my absolute favourites. I’m still pleasantly surprised to see it’s still there, whenever I pass by’
Doors of Malta - Blue door and balcony, St Julians, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Blue door and balcony, St Julians, Malta. It’s the first time that I have come across a balcony quite like this in Malta – kind of modern, yet retro. I also like the asymmetry of the image ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Disappearing Malta Series - vintage petrol station, Floriana, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series – vintage petrol station, Floriana, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Doors of Malta - A peek inside - doorway to abandoned house, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
A peek inside – the doorway to an abandoned house, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

Furthermore, I want to see what is behind the doors…

Who lived in a house like this? I’m always peeking through letterboxes or broken windows (one of these days, someone will look right back at me, from the shadows of the interior of some decrepit building, and scare the hell out of me! Shades of all the horror movies I grew up watching!). Regretfully, since beginning this unintentional photo series, many of the doors that I have photographed – and the houses that surround them –  have already disappeared, and their history with it. In many cases, to be replaced by yet another characterless, generic concrete structure – for rental purposes –  clearly made with very little love. Either that or the doors are chained or boarded shut, locked up with ancient rusty padlocks, the keys to which have irrevocably long been lost.

 

Disappearing Malta Series - vintage workshop doors, Gzira, Malta ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series – vintage workshop doors, Msida, Malta. This, to me, is like a work of art, albeit unintentional, it’s almost like a face with wide set eyes ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta 
an unintentional photo series
Disappearing Malta Series - House of Character, Devonshire House School, Gzira ©Helen Jones-Florio
Disappearing Malta Series – Devonshire House School, Gzira ©Helen Jones-Florio

 

The quest continues…

Helen Jones-Florio

 

Related work: Doors & Facades #1 / Doors & facades #2 .

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