‘Waving back’ (clastic rocks, 21x20x1cm), by now the hand (→7♠ and Queen♠) is stone cold and downsized to pebbles (→King♠). On the thumb is Filfla [peppercorn] Island (→Jack♦), Malta’s sole fauna/flora sanctuary where public access is not allowed. Under British colonial rule (→3♣), Filfla was substantially reduced from its original size because the island was used as target practice. On the warning index finger is Portomaso Business Tower, at 98m the tallest building in Malta, standing in for the construction industry’s land-grabbing practices and overdevelopment of urban spaces. Palm and middle finger are covered by prickly pears, a wild fruit which grows on cacti (→6♠) in arid lands. A clubbed ring finger is the penultimate and the pinkie shows the five-tiered Colonna Mediterranea (2006, by Paul Vella Critien), Malta’s most controversial public artwork, which made international headlines when many suggested that the obelisk be removed or at least covered during the pope’s visit in 2010. The column was vandalised in 2012 and has since been restored.
(text by Margit Waas)