Green City

Solo Exhibition at The Phoenicia Malta, August 2023

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20230620_154635-1024x843.jpg

‘A vibrant collection of recent paintings by Rune Bo Jakobsen (b. 1975) are gracing the bright Palm Court Lounge at The Phoenicia Malta
throughout the month of August.

Titled ‘Green City: from Floriana to Mdina’, the paintings portray land and streetscapes that aim to draw attention to the available greenery of the Maltese islands, which is sadly being lost due to indiscriminate construction.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Rune-Bo-Jakobsen-Malta-Independent-News-Paper-aug-2023-Phoenicia-783x1024.jpg

Jakobsen’s art is about giving hope and inspiring us to improve the potential of our environment and society. In doing so his paintings portray spaces with emotion, capturing dappled light and reimagining a soft regenerative ambience.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20230730_171131-1015x1024.jpg

At times the paintings also include the people who inhabit and experience beauty in the spaces.
The painting titled Arcade Ensemble starts as a conversing group of friends clustered together in the Arcades of St Anne’s Street, Floriana.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20230627_142845-1-867x1024.jpg

The theatrical space is illuminated in a green light from beyond and from canvas to canvas the scenographic composition is abstracted into a dreamy space that could be future or past.
In a subliminal way Jakobsen states the exhibition conveys an important urgent message: ‘We can choose to make Malta green’.

In this solo exhibition, recognisable landmarks such as Robert Sammut Hall are evident, as well as the iconic city of Mdina perched on the hilltop portrayed at different times of day and viewpoints.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20230730_192746-1-845x1024.jpg

Other elements are the distinguishing dominating church steeples, Maltese timber balconies, boats in the harbour and precipitous fortifications, all bathed in the warm Mediterranean light as seen throughout the year and changing seasons.

Jakobsen is here proving his ability to see colour in any object, and colour is a distinguishing element of his paintings. This is testament
to his power of observation and maturity in the
use of a broad palette. Colour is seen through the light as well as in the shade and shadows that is cast on and by limestone buildings
and trees that play an equally important role.
Executed with broad brushstrokes and bold, block colours, this is where Jakobsen’s emotions shine through even in the everchanging
Mediterranean skies.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20230730_195714-1-614x1024.jpg

Some of these paintings that were executed en plein air as well as in the artist’s Birkirkara studio, also display drawings that show through the painted layers or which were added to finish off the composition, creating more definition.

Also significant to this exhibition is a 2.8m high sculpture titled Green Heart’ which is exhibited in the lush gardens of The Phoenicia Malta, an ideal location for this artist’s silent commentary. …’

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20230731_125043-461x1024.jpg
Public Sculpture

‘Olive Twist’

Public Art Sculpture in Zejtun, Malta

Inauguration speech, 4th Oct 2021:

‘My name is Rune Bo Jakobsen. I am an Artist and an Architect. Through my Paintings and Sculptures I seek to give emotional and sensory experiences; over the years touching on key topics such as growth, life, childhood, fertility, animal welfare, urban spaces and the environment. Previous Public sculptures in Malta include the Travelling concrete ‘Popcorn’ and the Child Memorial Paper Boat coined ’Hope’ at the Valletta Waterfront.

The ‘Olive Twist’ sculpture here in Front of us is inspired by the organic growth and twisting movement of the ancient Olive trees deeply rooted in the culture of Żejtun. The Structural ‘DNA’ of the sculpture is reminiscent of the traditional Maltese silver filigree jewellery. It is a network of intertwining reflective stainless steel pipes twisting and branching outwards.

At night the ‘Olive Twist’ Sculpture is like a beacon; light reflects off the silvery structure from within the central space of the trunk base – like a flickering fire creating a play of light and silhouette as one circles around it. In the different seasons one may experience a change in colour of light, like now in Autumn for Pink October breast Cancer awareness month.

Seen from above, this spinning movement of the ‘Olive Twist’ Sculpture Landscaping is also influenced by the history and spirit of the place:

Between the roundabout and the Church there used to be an old windmill; now long gone and only exists as a memory of people in Zejtun and in the drawing Archives of Malta. 

When we cast the podium on which the ‘Olive Twist’ is rooted, we found it actually resembles a giant grinding-stone of a windmill or an old olive press.  Also the landscaping design with the seed-like imprinted stepping stones spiral outwards into the soil are like roots or like windmill wings spinning.

The stepping stones were made and imprinted with the help of the Zejtun community in Workshops with Zejtun Primary B and the Zejtun Corinthians Football Club nursery. A great big thank you to all involved for making these workshops possible; teachers, parents, staff, Zejtun council members, Malta UNESCO Youth Association, …and thanks to the Children who now have an everlasting imprint set in stone.

The ‘Olive Twist’ is in a way a Time Capsule containing memories, elements and artefacts -created in 2021 by not one person alone; but by a community of people from all over Malta and beyond, working together combining their efforts and skills into one public space. 

After months of planning with Zejtun Local Council and relevant entities; we developed and tested a multitude of models – both physical as well as detailed digital 3d models and drawings used throughout the fabrication process. The manufacturing of the complex sculpture was done together with the skilled welders and steel benders at Jacap Ltd. in Mosta. 

On site surveying was done by Brandon Calleja. The reinforced concrete civil works and smooth hand crafted in situ finishes of the podium and curved kerbs were done by Decorative Concrete Ltd. Steve Ellis and his team also helped with the casting of the stepping stones.

For a thunderstorm like this weekend the Olive Twist is also safe. The Lightning Protection earthing system includes two 3.6m earth-rods installed by MCE. Testing and engineering of earthing by Ing Joseph Azzopardi of Galea Curmi in Gozo. The LED Lighting from Hydrolectric and the electric installation by Nexus.

 The Transport and lifting of the 4x3x3m Sculpture in one piece from Mosta to Zejtun was done successfully by Express Trailers. 

In the Landscaping part of the project the ‘Maltese Everlasting’ shrubs were supplied by ELC and planted by the Local Council Gardeners – just before the rain this weekend! These silver leafed shrubs are an endemic species to the Maltese Islands. The actual specimens are propagated from Dwejra, with care once established they require little water and we trust they will flourish and flower for years to come.

‘ Olive Twist’ would not have been possible without the entire Zejtun Local Council Team, Anton Falzon, Sean Chircop and Major, Doris Abela for the continuous support, coordination and collaboration. Also thanks to Reece Delia of the Malta UNESCO Youth Association (MUYA) for bringing us all together and writing the winning proposal. Finally, a Special Thanks to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Projects and the Public Works Department for the Funding and Support making ‘Olive Twist’ a new Landmark for Zejtun. ‘


‘Olive Twist’ was a winning proposal for the Ministry of Infrastructure competition for ‘Art in Public spaces’.

‘Olive Twist’ was originally envisaged to be the centre and catalyst for surrounding trees to be planted in the future embellishment of the Carlo Diacono Square within the Urban Conservation Area (UCA) of Żejtun. The square is currently a traffic junction paved with tarmac. All entities except SCH were in favour of the project; thus a new location was sought for the sculpture.

Original proposed location for the Olive Twist Sculpture within UCA area of Zejtun.



Presenting:  An exploration of Light through the Clouds of Malta

As part of the Allura Art Trail exhibiting ‘CLOUDSCAPE’  at Spinola Park, St. Julians MALTA – Opening Saturday & Sunday 12 noon -18 pm   3rd-4th  November 2018

Sculpture and Painting exhibition & LIVE workshop by Rune Bo Jakobsen.


Exhibition in Gozo

This weekend we opened my solo exhibition at Art..e Gallery on Malta’s beautiful sister Island: Gozo

It was a fun event with guests from a few months of age to +98years(!) spilling out on to the quaint Library Street of the historical town of Victoria.

The exhibition will extend until 7th July. Everyone is welcome.

Over the years I have noticed it can be a feat preparing and taking the 30minute journey ‘over seas’ from Malta to Gozo; yet always rewarding!

Crossing the channel by ferry and passing thru the valley to Victoria the tranquility immediately hits me and I say,  ‘Imagine Malta once used to be like this’.

One travels to Gozo maybe a few times a year on a weekend break to experience Nature and tranquility – but is it not possible to connect our everyday lives with nature?

Could we contain our buildings like the Citadel leaving space for children to run and explore in the fields?

Could the wide roads leave space for bicycle paths in the countryside?

Could our daily lives rely less on commuting by car and instead we could stroll through the meandering townscapes?

‘Gozo: Architecture of a flower’ seeks to open our eyes to the beauty of Nature big and small; a Nature which with the rapid development and urban sprawl is becoming more and more rare in Malta – and now also affected in Gozo.

This exhibition has been an exploration, seeing the beauty of Gozo: with it’s golden cliffs, green valleys, purple skies and how a few serene townscapes still co-exist in harmony with the surrounding landscape. From the magnificent cliffs to the delicate flower perched on it, the Nature of Gozo has inspired me.

Over the past year I have explored and experimented; learning from the landscape and studying the folds of ‘Fungus Rock’ cliff faces to the folds of a flower. I also discovered a transparent cloth-like material, which is used in Malta to sift gunpowder for fireworks.  Folding this shiny brass netting and in architectural terms translating the geometry of the intricate ‘Snap Dragon’ flower into a series of origami-like sculptures. Like my 2013 concrete ‘Popcorn’ series these have a soft, approachable aspect whilst embodying stages of growth albeit being rooted and perched in harsh limestone surroundings.

In my Gozo paintings the focus is also on folds: outlining the edges whilst unveiling the colours in the shadows of the Gozitan landscapes and townscapes.

Finally, a new route has also begun to emerge in the latest pieces: creasing composition paths diagonally across the canvas joining the sky with the landscape.  In paintings with seascapes these paths are becoming shimmering constellations of light.

Rune Bo Jakobsen , Valletta, June 2018


New Technique: Torched Watercolour

Some twenty years ago I had experimented in Aarhus with Fire and Card – successfully capturing the flame on paper.

Whilst painting today I dug into my toolbox in my studio and came across gas torches – last time used to strip old wooden beams from paint.

The acrylic on watercolour paper was still soaking wet – I remembered what I once had done in Denmark – could the wet Iceberg landscape become scorched?

Powerful contrasts between heat and cold embodied in the painting;

And a comment on how we are burning natural resources: mankind torching the iceberg and placing a silver fingerprint on his mark.

Last I visited my sister, geologist Gro Birkefeldt Moeller Pedersen in Iceland it impressed me how fast the Glaciers recede.

In Iceland the Global Warming physically changes the landscape.

And here in Malta where polluting cars dominate the landscape and the way of life; we ignore the unbearable heat inevitably approaching in the coming Summer months.

Whilst money, oil and supplies are plentiful, sea water is desalinated and drinking water is carted home by the dozens in plastic bottles. The winter rains are flushed out at sea with the new storm relief network. Decision makers will in 2018 -as every year- take to the comfort of Air Conditioned black cars and offices – whilst African day-workers cross perilous arterial roads by foot or bicycle in the scorching heat.

Will it be too late the day the politicians start feeling the heat?

Rune Bo Jakobsen

Malta, March 2018


Kaleidoscope gif


Paintings and Sculptures Shortfilm

Paintings and Sculptures with roots in Organic Architecture. From Paintings of Valletta Cityscapes to Bronze Horse, Concrete Popcorn, Maltese Limestone and Timber Light Sculptures – the Artists Workshop seeks to experiment and explore. Each new media gives a new angle and inspiration to the artistic journey. Music Copyright by Monica Xiao: ‘Midnight Fantasy’ ; Album: ‘Piano Droplets’

“from Paintings to Sculptures…from Sculptures to Light… from Light to Architecture”


New Art Studio & Exhibition Opening: May 2017

At the new Art Studio & Gallery Opening in May 2017:

Above: “Voyager I’ Light Sculpture & Mediterranean Clouds

Centre:  Valletta Backlit & Valletta Street Scapes

Below:  ‘In Blue -Waterfall’, ‘Phenomena, Rain Cloud’ & ‘In Red- Glow’

Contact RBJ for Studio Viewings.




Public Sculpture

Popcorn Sculptures & HUG ME Soft Furniture Now Exhibiting at Malta Design Week

Popcorn Now Exhibiting at Fort St Elmo! -Malta Design Week- 17-24 MAY 10am-10pm

DSC_0434 - Copy