A painting by artist Jessica Debattista, entitled Red Pillar Box, was unveiled at Casa Arkati in Mosta as part of the Zaren Vassallo Art (ZVART) initiative, launched in 2020 to mark the Vassallo Group’s 75th anniversary this year.

During the unveiling ceremony, CareMalta Group CEO Natalie Briffa Farrugia welcomed the artist, who is from Mosta and whose sister, Rita Anastasi, is one of Casa Arkati’s very first residents, having joined the home 26 years ago together with the sisters’ late mother.

“So, besides being the very first ZVART painting to adorn a CareMalta elderly home, today’s ceremony means much more – it’s a special connection between art and care,”  Briffa Farrugia said.

The painting, which will be hung in the home’s Sant’Andrija dementia unit, was chosen for the fact that red is a predominant colour, one which persons living with dementia relate to along the years. The cool colour blue, found elsewhere in the painting, is also known to have a calming effect.

Group chairman Nazzareno Vassallo said Debattista’s work of art was the seventh in a series of ZVART initiatives. The previous two – a marble plaque by Jeffrey Galea on the façade of the chairman’s office in Mosta and an art piece by Rupert Cefai in the new reception area at the group’s head office in Mosta – were unveiled on June 4.

Debattista said she painted Red Pillar Box sometime in 2003/2004 – a time when she was going through a phase of painting townscapes, focusing on elements such as architectural details and vintage items. “This was a phase that lasted a short time, since I am more inclined to painting portraits and the human figure,” she explained.

“I was ecstatic to have one of my works chosen to be permanently displayed at Casa Arkati, especially since this home is related to my history.”