Marija is the first collaboration between typographer Adrian Gauci and poet Glen Calleja. The final work is presented entirely on the walls of the gallery, a writing on the wall as it were, that transcends the printed book, the traditional, if not natural, home of typography and poetry work.
A writing on the wall always heralds novelty/news, a detail that in this case reinforces the textual references to the 'Annunciation'. The 1.5m x 3m keyhole is an imposing invitation to peep into a future happening, a magical gateway that through the evocative use of symbols - the mystical rose, winds and water currents, the oyster, the lotus, the cyclop's eye - transports viewiers into a promised new reality. There, subject and object are fused into one, the angelic herald is assimilated into the human womb.
Marija is a visual meditation on the first joyful mystery of the rosary. The keyhole is at once a symbolic womb and an invitation to peep in on the mystery as it unravels.
The text places the events on one windy April night in an open bay where everything seems to be in conspiracy to allow two lovers to consummate the encounter spiritually if not also physically. When it happens, it is through the acceptance to touch and half a word, the first being the human contribution to the encounter, the second the angelic part. The pathetic fallacy combined with the technology of opening/closing (keyhole) strengthens the divine-human alliance.
We then see two beings within each other in a complete symbiosis. Marija retrieves Gabriel's message only after touching (or perhaps feeling) him. Marija's womb is a crucible of improbable unity; the divine is to become flesh.
The piece begs the question on the (im-) permanence of the artwork. Viewers know that Marija, as an artwork, will only be there for the duration of the exhibition until the wall is whitewashed again. It is, however, presented on stone walls in a building that is over 400 years old, giving it an aura of durability.