I was born in Malta in 1979 to an Italian father and a Maltese mother. My early years were spent in the historic city of Cospicua, attending primary and secondary school at the nearby De La Salle College. Cospicua and the other two neighbouring cities of Vittoriosa and Senglea, collectively known as the Three Cities, all overlooking the majestic Grand Harbour of Malta, provided the ideal backdrop for a highly aesthetic, reflective and altogether idyllic childhood. It was here in Cospicua that I handled my first SLR, purchased while on a trip to Russia with my grandmother. I still vividly recall the shot I had taken with it while on a school trip of a massive crane stationed at the Red China dock… and another well-timed one of Pope John Paul II dashing down our street in his popemobile during his visit to Malta in 1990. At school I was always very fond of the sciences, especially Biology, and this incentivised me to study sciences at post-secondary education level, namely at the newly founded Junior College in Msida. By this time the family had moved to the seaside village of Marsaskala, and during the winter months I would spend my after-school hours reading poetry while confronted with the rough seas at Żonqor Point. After completing my post-secondary education studies, the family moved again, this time to the seaside town of Sliema, on the northeast coast of Malta. Sliema was just then reinventing itself into a modern, cosmopolitan town bustling with commerce and tourists, altogether different from the more traditional and tranquil landscapes of Cospicua and Marsaskala. It was then that I started attending the University of Malta where I pursued a Bachelor’s in Psychology with Theatre Studies as a secondary area. On completing these studies in 2000, I decided to venture into the world of work, doing myriad odd jobs: from cashier, to waiting on tables, to receptionist, to group leader, to sales person, to voluntary worker with a youth organisation, to teaching English as a foreign language to students visiting Malta, to customer care agent, etc. It was round about this time, during a phase of great personal and emotional upheaval, that I self-published my first book of poems, Anthology: Passages of Love. During this foray into the world of employment, the passion for learning hit back, and I was soon back at the University of Malta doing a Master’s in the Science of Performative Creativity. This was followed by a Doctorate in Cognitive Science. While studying for my Master’s and Doctorate at the University of Malta, I was also working at the same institution as a researcher on several EU-funded projects. Sometime during my Doctorate, while vacationing in Portugal, I bought my first DSLR, and this was my entry into the world of digital imagery. Having officially completed my studies, I now had to pull my socks up and find a stable career. A brief search for a job soon landed me a general manager position at the first, newly founded, national dance company of Malta, ŻfinMalta Dance Ensemble. I spent three years there and then I moved again, back to academia, this time as a researcher at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), Malta’s leading vocational education and training institution, where I still work.
It seems that the image, the word and the sea have been my constant companions. As images flow into words, and words into images, a process that reflects the motions of the sea, my photographic work unilaterally attempts to reflect this dynamic, albeit on a metaphorical level, through the alternate play of light and dark that punctuates one’s existence. As for the poems, I describe them as selfies pictured in words. Through the act of writing, I fix in words not the face of the Self but just the glance of the eyes, and the ensuing momentum, as they look out for the Other, who lies out of sight… The alternate play of light and dark here too makes its presence felt, between the one who sees and the one who wishes to see, enveloped as the latter is in that thick darkness he has submerged himself into and through which he will have to cleave his way out in order to reinvent his sight anew.