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Photographer Who Went Viral On Instagram To Embark On Documentary Project All About Malta’s Doors

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If you’ve ever found yourself admiring the beautiful and quirky characteristics of Maltese architecture, then MaltaDoors should definitely be on your radar (and it probably already is).

The Instagram account is a project with lazy beginnings; Lisa Gwen, a Maltese photographer, taking photos of whatever catches her eye. After noticing a pattern with doors, Lisa opened the Instagram account which thousands now know and love. Since she kicked off her mini-project in March 2016, Lisa has now amassed a following of nearly 10,000 people. And the future holds even larger projects. 

Until now, whenever Lisa took a photo of a particular door, she always had to guess what stories and lives they held. Now, she doesn’t have to anymore.

Lisa has been awarded a research grant to get to know the stories of the houses and home owners behind the photographed doors. It’ll eventually be a sort of Humans of New York for Maltese Doors, if you may. Doors of Malta? Or, you know, MaltaDoors.

“I’m so happy I can finally take my project to new heights,” Lisa told Lovin Malta. “After all, it’s thanks to people like you that MaltaDoors has started being noticed more often”. 

The project, which has MaltaDoors Stories as a working title, was awarded a grant through the Malta Arts Fund and might even be published later on.

Here’s an excerpt from the proposal, to really understand the project from the artist herself: 

“This is essentially a ‘story-telling’ research project, which will look into the possibility of a structure and format for a publication. The concept which will ground this research came about organically, as a consequence of a visual project focusing on documenting doors, doorways and entrances in Malta, through the medium of photography. Whilst documenting, Lisa realised that the more images she took, the more interested she became in the stories of the people behind the doors – the home owners, the residents, the pets or even the ‘ghosts’ of the owners past – there are many stories to be told about abandoned as much as inhabited spaces and places. Thus, during the progress of the visual project, she experienced a shift in preoccupation: one which was originally and chiefly focused on aesthetics, to one which would highlight narrative as well as the symbolic representation of doors as thresholds, entrances /exits, representing opportunity and obstacle. For this reason, the beneficiary intends to identify a number of homes (inhabited or abandoned), in order to tell the story of the person(s) living within, of those who once lived there, or even those who were meant to live there.”

Just this week, LA-based writer and podcaster Britton Perelman featured Lisa and MaltaDoors on her blog, who aptly described the Maltese photographer as “a tourist in her own hometown”.

In Perelman’s feature, Lisa explains that she doesn’t consider herself a photographer, but rather an “aesthete”, “light-chaser” or even “capturer or magical moments”. Whatever you choose to call her, it sure is working.

With more attention coming Lisa’s way, it doesn’t seem like the #MalteseDoorPorn is going anywhere anytime soon.

Soon, her thousands of followers won’t just have amazing photos to admire, but also whatever story comes with each quirky, hidden door around the island.

Tag a MaltaDoors fan… and someone who should become one now!

READ NEXT: 12 Maltese Women Currently Killing It On Instagram

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