A sculpture by Wallace Falzon, entitled ‘The Heart Giver’, was unveiled at the CareMalta head office in Mosta as part of the Zaren Vassallo (ZVART) Art initiative celebrating the Vassallo Group’s 75th anniversary.

Commissioned by CareMalta, the group’s healthcare arm, this is the third work of art that the group has invested in.

The event, held on March 9, was attended by the group’s chairman, Nazzareno Vassallo, CareMalta’s CEO Natalie Briffa Farrugia, the group’s CEO, Pio Vassallo, CareMalta’s director of finance, James Sciriha, and Charlo Bonnici, chairperson of ZVART.

ZVART was launched in December 2020 at an event during which a painting by artist Dione Borg of Mr Vassallo’s late brother and former director, Ġużeppi Vassallo, was unveiled at Villa Amodeo, the chairman’s office.

A second work of art by renowned ceramist Paul Haber was inaugurated last month at Learning Works, the group’s training arm, as part of the same initiative.

In a short speech during the ceremony, Mr Vassallo said the title, ‘The Heart Giver’, was very significant, representing all that CareMalta stood for.

“Over the past 28 years, the company has offered its heart and care to hundreds of employees, the majority of whom are women. The heart also represents the dedication shown by our managers and teams over the past year to elderly residents, as well as clients with disability.”

The artist was inspired to create the sculpture when he was walking on a beach in the UK and came across small pieces of slate, one of which was heart-shaped.

“I feel honoured that there was a connection and resonance with CareMalta’s mission. The heart is made of layers, fragile, yet strong. It takes courage to love and is a risk to offer it. Love is immeasurable but quantifiable in terms of the well-being of the donor and the receiver,” Mr Falzon said.

Ms Briffa Farrugia said: “I love the sculpture mainly because its base, a Maltese stone balustrade, symbolises our group’s foundations in construction, a long and rich background in this sector, so this is very meaningful to us.”

The idea was to also go for a sculpture that embodied women’s participation within the Vassallo Group over the past 75 years.

“Even though the sculpture is gender neutral, it still conjures up an idea of femininity, especially since the figure is holding a heart,” she added.

“The woman is depicted as a heart giver, a person who is always ready to offer her heart, whether at home or at the workplace. A woman takes her heart to the workplace, especially if she is passionate about what she does. But her heart is also fragile, as each and every day is a balancing act between two worlds – her endless love for her family and her vulnerability to the many challenges she faces at work.

“Finally, the fact that the sculpture is neither a man nor a woman evokes the idea that it’s not just about women’s participation in society, but a contribution by all to the world of work through competence – a balancing act shared by both women and men in order to create equality.”