Love and mar­riage: ‘Who’s pulling the car­riage?’

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - LIFESTYLE & CULTURE -

Pic­ture this. You’re driv­ing along the street and sud­denly you come across a preg­nant woman pulling a wooden cart. En­joy­ing a free ride on the cart are her hus­band, their two kids and their dog.

“It’s a man world” would be one of the ex­pres­sions that would prob­a­bly pop up in your mind. But for Paul Caru­ana who has come up with this wa­ter­colour, to­gether with an­other 19 works which will be ex­hib­ited un­til 31 Oc­to­ber at Palazzo De Piro in Md­ina, this scene has quite a dif­fer­ent mean­ing. View­ing times are 9.30am to 5pm Mon­day to Fri­day and 9.30am to 10pm Sat­ur­day and Sun­day.

The horse and car­riage scene re­minds Caru­ana of the say­ing “Love and mar­riage go to­gether like a horse and car­riage”.

“Com­pos­ing this wa­ter­colour, a thought kept re­cur­ring in my head: “Who is the horse that pulls the car­riage in a mar­riage?” Of course, there’s no one good an­swer to this ques­tion. It all de­pends on how things work out with each and every­one of us,” Caru­ana said when asked. A theme that’s bound to churn many a heated de­bate.

In this ex­po­si­tion ti­tled Ħre­j­jef ta’ Veru (Tell­tales), Caru­ana comes up with a pock­et­ful of scenes painted from ev­ery­day life which are dis­ap­pear­ing fast from our col­lec­tive mem­ory.

Caru­ana seems to im­merse him­self in his trea­sure chest of mem­o­ries and comes up with rem­i­nen­sces of his child­hood in St Joseph Street, Val­letta which used to heave with large fam­i­lies. He also ven­tures into Rabat and Md­ina where his el­der relatives resided. We come across the itin­er­ant Grandad Bu­fula sell­ing fish along the streets of Rabat and a culi­nary mi­rage when the artist re­calls the mouth-wa­ter­ing sfineġ (cod fin­gers cooked in bat­ter) his mother used to treat him to af­ter a la­bo­ri­ous trip by bus to Md­ina. Other episodes take us back some 50 years.

“These 20 scenes that marked my child­hood had re­ally hap­pened but can be con­sid­ered as fairy­tales be­cause of the pas­sage of time and the change it brought about in our way of do­ing things.”

Love and mar­riage

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