As you enter the Baroque city of Valletta in Malta, past the re-imagined majestic entrance designed by Renzo Piano, you’ll find the ruins of the former Royal Opera House, which was destroyed during World War II. This magnificent theatre had formerly burned to the ground and was rebuilt in the nineteenth century. The damaged it suffered during the war was so significant that it has never been rebuilt. However, Piano has convinced the powers-that-be to reuse the remains of the old opera house as an open-air theatre. A somewhat controversial decision on a number of levels.
The remains of the limestone structure, now known as Pjazza Teatru Rjal, provide the perfect melting pot for the creation of Rjali – a work by Enrique Tabone that brings forth her crystalized imagination from what can also be seen as honeycomb fossils. These hidden objects are too fantastic for ordinary beings to behold. As if communing with the queen bee’s escapades away from making honey, the royal remnants appear from within the stone’s nooks and crannies.
This work was produced in the wake of the large-scale installation Naħla (2017) and provided materials for a wearable art collection by QUE.