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Ħelwa tat-Torque


Wood, steel, varnish, motor, 22ct gold leaf

‘Ħelwa tat-Torque’ is a kinetic sculpture primarily constituted from a wooden and steel framework acting as a line drawing in space giving the impression of occupying a larger volume than it actually does. This work is an extension of a series of aesthetically similar contraptions, however here the emphasis is on the octagon or rather a shape with eight points. This structure is divided into two segments, an upper and a lower part both set in motion by a rotisserie motor located in the middle. Each segment hosts an ‘object’, always rotating against the direction of the other. The top half appears to be the more masculine aspect of the sculpture as it stands erect; it also features a golden tapered cylinder. A motif of a dome is also present here, the same shape is resonated/reflected but in a larger magnitude at the bottom, possibly this time acting as a ‘skirt’ for the more feminine counterpart. This divide is created to vaguely mention the tendency to associate a particular sex (male/female) to sweet and savoury (or sour) dishes. This work is the result of an interest in the culinary affect of Turkey on the Maltese islands in terms of traditions and contemporary culture, despite the seemingly important occurrences of over 450 years ago. The rotational movement is relevant to the top part as it links the form to the döner or Turkish kebab. The smaller tapered cylinder suspended below is more reminiscent of the shape of the tahini-based sweet, known as ħelwa tat-Tork. The force rotating the object on its vertical axis has inevitably contributed to the name of the work; moreover, this movement is also important in other processes such as the toasting of coffee beans and production of cotton.


Project supported by Blitz and Aditus Foundation



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