Ramon Azzopardi Fiott, also known as RAFiott, has collaborated with Allied Rainbow Communities (ARC) to create the official merchandise collection. The collection features six commissioned designs, each representing a colour from the pride flag, focusing on Maltese culture and Queer identities. The series' style is inspired by RAFiott's 2021 MeliTENSION Collection, which was exhibited at MUŻA, and occasionally references specific works from that collection.
RAFiott is a local queer digital artist whose works explore the multifaceted theme of identity. His art ranges from introspective self-portraits to surreal creatures with deep semiotic significance. Through his complex relationship with the island, RAFiott produces art that reflects a distinctly queer and Maltese perspective.
The rainbow flag, designed by Gilbert Baker, has represented the queer community since the 1970s, particularly after the assassination of Harvey Milk. The six-colour pride flag we use today is a modification of the original which also featured hot pink. The remaining colours have retained their original meaning.
Green symbolises nature.
Find inspiration in the beauty of nature with RAFiott's design. Raised amidst the scenic landscapes of rural Dingli, the artist developed a deep appreciation for the natural world, especially the unique local flora and fauna. This design pays homage to his 2021 digital painting "Namrati."
Green | ARC X RAFiott depicts two surreal flower-kiosk octopodes gracefully intertwined with tentacles, cradling a delicate ganutell flower. Ganutell, a traditional Maltese wire craft, is known for creating exquisite ornamental floral arrangements, often displayed under glass cloches. RAFiott cherishes memories of his grandmother's skilled craftsmanship in this art form. Inside the cloche blooms a green carnation, historically a symbol representing gay men during the Victorian era.
In this design, the enchanting "kioskopus" clutches a vibrant bouquet of violets, a symbol associated with the classical Lesbian poet Sappho, embraced by the lesbian community. Just like in "Namrati," the flowers that double as the creatures' eyes are local Maltese Garigue and Maquis species, a heartfelt nod to the artist's hometown.
The green flower kiosk portrayed here pays tribute to the iconic Victorian-era kiosks in St John Square, Valletta, one of which once operated as a florist. Octopodes, intelligent and social beings, are a common sight in the Maltese seas, adding a touch of local charm to the shirt.
Grab your T-shirt today and embrace a fresh, vibrant look while proudly representing icons of Queer and Maltese identities.
Discover Ramon Azzopardi Fiott's art at rafiott.com
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