We might’ve had to wait until 2018 to be able to call Valletta the European Capital of Culture, but many will agree it’s always been the capital of sheer architectural beauty. Malta’s capital city is so stunning, you don’t even need colour to fully appreciate it, and that’s exactly what a recent photo series set out to prove.
Portals of Valletta is just that; a selection of doors (or portals) from around the small capital, ranging from huge Baroque churches and palaces, to townhouses and shabby dwellings. From Kastilja to kerrejja, every door tells an intriguing story.
The project is the work of Dr. Charles Paul Azzopardi, an international award-winning architectural and dance visual artist. Azzopardi specialises in black and white fine art photography, as Portals of Valletta instantly proves.
The photos made it to an exclusive, limited edition run of 30 individual prints signed by the artist himself. The full collection is available to browse online, and it really does feature absolutely anything from imposing palaces to the humblest of details.
“Through an intensive focus on that unique architectural element of doors, one can appreciate the aesthetic diversity and better understand the dynamics of socio-cultural and political forces that have formed the city over time,” Azzopardi said. “The door becomes an architectural metaphor for social and community diversity.” And the diversity is definitely apparent, as the collection goes from the Prime Minister’s recently renovated palace-office to graffiti-splattered, rust-ridden metal doors at the lower end of the city’s poorer neighbourhoods.
Azzopardi’s works were published in a hardbound, 264-page book as 2017 drew to a close.
Less than two months later, Portals of Valletta’s photography book is now close to being sold out. No further copies will be available after they do, so if this is something that piques your interest, we wouldn’t recommend sitting on it any longer.