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30@20 – The Mill


The Gabriel Caruana Foundation manages the artistic programme of The Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre since 2015. The Mill was opened by artists Gabriel Caruana and Mary Rose Caruana in June 1990. Thus 2020 marks its 30th year as an independently artist-run arts centre. As a Foundation, we recognize the importance of this milestone in Malta’s art and cultural history. The Mill’s significance is noteworthy in terms of its contribution to modern and contemporary art, culture and crafts, it being one of the first and longest-standing independent artist-run arts centre in Malta, making it a contemporary to a global movement of such centres and having afforded a space to numerous Maltese and international artists and creatives to develop and showcase their artistic expression.


Art Historian Dr Nicola Petroni has been engaged by the Foundation to carry out research that will delve into the origins, aims, activities and events carried out at The Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre over the last 30 years. Dr Petroni has carried out a process of interviews and archival research, including organisation, digitization, analysis and presentation. The research phase has contributed towards the setting up of an archive and purchasing of equipment for proper archiving of documents and also future events, thereby stregthening the Foundation’s capacity building. During the research phase the Foundation was assisted by different volunteers and interns. 


Following the research phase the Gabriel Caruana Foundation developed a book “Looking Back Looking Foward” to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of The Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre. The book is a snippet of the rich and varied art historical significance of The Mill, a contemporary arts centre that was the brainchild of Gabriel and Mary Rose Caruana. With a foreword by the Foundation’s Excutive Director Raffaella Zammit, followed by a critical essay by Academic Dr Nikki Petroni and a reflective note by Curator Elyse Tonna the book presents various archival material connected to The Mill and its 30 years of activity.  Looking Back Looking Forward looks at The Mill’s past, present and future, it also highlights future plans, including the restoration of this Scheduled 1 Building for which the Gabriel Caruana Foundation is actively fund raising.

The book, in softcover, features a sketch of The Mill by the late Gabriel Caruana, that he used for publicity posters of The Mill. A poem ‘Il-Mitħna’ by Noel Fabri  (1990) features on the backcover of this publication, the poem was inspired by The Mill following a poetry night held at The Mill in August 1990. The book is available in a limited printed run, and the design reflects the grassroots nature of The Mill. The photos and documents have not been manipulated to reflect the archival quality of the documents. The design was kindly supported by Mighty Box. A donation to acquire the book will go towards supporting the Gabriel Caruana Foundation to restore The Mill.

A soft launch of the publication has been held on the 30th of April 2021, a short documentary has also been produced. This will be followed by a launch at The Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre on the 26th of June 2021, to celebrate the 31st anniversary of The Mill as Contemporary Art and Cultural Centre.

This short documentary forms part of the project  “30@20 – The Mill” by the Gabriel Caruana Foundation. The documentary encapsulates the research carried out since 2020 on The Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre in Birkirkara, which was opened as an independent contemporary art and cultural centre in June 1990 by Gabriel and Mary Rose Caruana. The project has led to the development of a publication entitled “Looking Back Looking Forward“.

Looking Back Looking Forward

You can order your copy of the book ‘Looking  Back Looking Forward’ by clicking on this link. A donation will go towards supporting the Gabriel Caruana Foundation in its restoration efforts of The Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre.




Community Call – Tell Us Your Stories!

As part of the 30@20 – the Mill project, we are seeking different ways of understanding and promoting the tangible and intangible artistic and cultural heritage of The Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre which holds many untold stories. We’re collecting photos, information, memories and experiences of anyone who joined Gabriel Caruana and Mary Rose Caruana and the Foundation as a friend, artist, visitor at The Mill.  If you have any material that you would like to share with us, drop us a line at outreach[at]gabrielcaruanafoundation[dot]org.

Terms and Conditions

We will be sharing these memories through a variety of channels, on our social media, press releases, as part of an online exhibition and in a publication. We will always add your name and surname when we share this material. However should you wish to remain private do let us know. In case of images submitted please let us know who took the photo so we can properly credit the photographer.

Funding support

This project has been funded through the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector on behalf of Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sports and Voluntary Organisations within the Ministry for Education and Employment. This project reflects the views only of the author, and the MEDE and the MCVS cannot be held responsible for the content or any use which may be made of the information contained therein