Inspired by street art across Europe’s major cities, STJ Canvas look to create a space that encourages creativity. In an unprecedented move, the mural will be right in the middle of one of Malta’s main touristic centres, St Julian’s. Located on Forrest Street, the mural could become a key image in transforming Malta’s skyline. Planning on this has taken many years and we’re very pleased that we have full development permission from the Planning Authority – PA-07659/21 – the first permit of its kind.
“Having always loved St Julians and lived here since my youth, I wanted to give something back to Spinola. I’ve wanted to incorporate art into my surroundings for ages, having been inspired by the endless street art found across Europe’s major cities. After a lot of thought, I decided on a mural down the side of the building.”
– STJ Canvas Founder
The STJ Canvas Committee launched a competition via our website and social media to look for artists to put forward their vision for the mural. The remit was something intrinsically local preferably with a message – although the artists were given free rein to incorporate whatever inspired them. The prize offered was their artwork on the wall and remuneration.
The winner, James Micallef Grimaud, was chosen by the STJ Canvas panel. 300 hours across 3 months and 500 cans of spray paint later – James completed his artwork on the STJ Canvas which was officially unveiled on the 26th of September 2022.
Through the website developed by Growth Gurus, we created an effective and simple way for artists to download materials of the party wall, understand the inspiration and submit their artworks to the STJ Canvas panel.
“Being particularly intrigued by the fusion of the physical and digital worlds, the vision was to create an online experience that would enable artists to create art on the wall. The initial purpose of the website was to attract artists to submit their visions through the competition. This has evolved to be the online home of the STJ Canvas.”
– STJ Canvas Committee Member
In this mural, I decided to take on a more naturalistic approach and made use of some of the most colourful migratory birds which visit Malta yearly. Some of the birds I’ve chosen have also been spotted in the valleys of St Julians and Pembroke.
The birds include the stork, Eurasian roller, bee-eater, kingfisher and the goldfinch. I used birds which have been featured in art nouveau creations due to their stylistic and classical features. The birds will be laid out in the mural in a way to create a flow and balance through colour.
The juxtaposition of these birds with the modern development around the area will create a balance between nature and man-made structures through an artistic context. The pattern used in the background is reminiscent of the Maltese tiles and is a classic illusion.