Casa Arkati, Żejtun Home and Dar il-Madonna tal-Mellieħa have opened their doors to local artists, embracing a whole new world of creativity for both employees and residents.
This initiative has transformed these homes into lively art spaces that generate dialogue and reflect what is unique about CareMalta and its identity: its values and goals.
It also blends in perfectly with the CareMalta Group’s Well-Being Strategy and Policy introduced this year, which aims to nurture a sense of wellness, particularly in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Current studies confirm that art in care homes can provide many opportunities for residents to use their imagination, make connections and reminisce. Art, in general, also provides benefits for both the artist and viewer and can affect us all in positive ways.
“Through these commissioned art pieces, tailor-made for each care home, we hope to stimulate memories and produce feelings of warmth, colour and reassurance,” says Natalie Briffa Farrugia, CEO of the CareMalta Group.
“Art humanises the care environment and creates more meaningful visual interest, so what better way to do this than by surrounding our residents with artistically rich pieces they can admire and relate to.”
Red Pillar Box, Casa Arkati
This oil on canvas by artist Jessica Debattista, hangs in the home’s dementia unit. It was chosen for the fact that red is a predominant colour, one which people living with dementia relate to. The art piece represents a vintage pillar box and telephone booth, jolting memories from the past.
The artist’s sister, Rita Anastasi, is one of Casa Arkati’s first residents, having joined the home 26 years ago with her late mother.
“I was so happy to have one of my works chosen to be displayed at Casa Arkati, especially since the care home is very much connected with my personal history,” said Debattista.
Nostalgia of Żejtun, Żejtun Home
These three art pieces in watercolour and mixed media, by Joseph Baldacchino, an artist who is passionate about local history, folklore and culture, feature the Żejtun Bus, Żejtun Coin and The Lieutenant’s Garden.
The artist, who lives opposite the care home, said he was honoured to create these paintings for the Żejtun Home, “especially since I consider myself to be part of this generation, thus treasuring such beautiful memories of the past”.
Retrieved Nostalgia, Dar il-Madonna tal-Mellieħa
This painting by landscape watercolourist Diane Agius Calleja features a pretty square, part of the beautiful Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieħa and four residents from the care home sitting and strolling around.
The artist was inspired by the tranquillity, history and natural beauty of this location. “My intention was to create a nostalgic but pleasant reminder for both residents and visitors,” she said.
Agius Calleja, who enjoys plein-air painting around Malta and Gozo, added. “Although a challenge in many ways, painting outdoors is certainly exciting and rewarding.”
The self-taught artist tries to depict life’s natural wonders from her own perspective, paying special attention to light and atmosphere.