Antoine Paul Camilleri is an artist who likes to experiment with different media.
I usually start from drawing, going to a file I keep with sketches and photos. I like pen drawing – the local landscape and streets in perspective and light and shade inspire me.
I also go to classes in life drawing regularly (figure drawing). I also work in the technique of etching, sculpture in ceramics, stone, metal, resin, cold cast bronze, tin sculpture, glass fusion, chemical cement, watercolour and acrylics.
What genre do you consider your work to be?
No particular genre, however I consider my work more expressionistic and my figures are elongated and stylistic. As for my drawings I prefer the free hand pen drawing on location and figures in life class sessions.
Describe your work in less than 10 words.
In Sculpture: simplification of form and elongating in the human figure (less means more).
As for the drawing I prefer the spontaneous feel of the pen drawing, the flow – as Herbert Read’s quote, ‘talking a line for a walk’
Where was your first exhibition held?
At the museum of Archaeology in Valletta in April 1988; consisting of some 90 sculptures in terra cotta.
How long have you been practising your art?
I do not remember exactly when, but from an early age, we were brought up in a very artistic environment. My father’s studio was in Balzan and we had a big yard were we could experiment with different media. I had a studio near the garden were I used to work in clay. My father’s studio was always accessible to all the family, and we used to enjoy helping out in any work and project my father did. Lino prints, carnival floats, murals, conventions, stamp design, hotel design etc.
Whose artist’s work are you most inspired by?
My greatest inspiration will always be my father, he was a teacher and also a friend to me. I admire other artist, both Maltese and foreign.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I would still like to be an artist, however would delicate more time for art, though this is very difficult locally, as I need to earn an income from permanent employment.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on some figure drawings I did recently. From the original pen drawing I go to ink and ‘aquarelle’; and also to ceramic sculpture, or cold cast bronze.
Are you a morning person or do you come alive at night?
I prefer to work late in the evenings, I find it quieter and can concentrate more.
How many coffees a day? Don’t embellish.
I take 3 to 4 espressos
Sundays can be very productive for some and very unproductive for others. How do you spend yours?
Working shift duties these past 40 years means that Sundays and feast days offer no particular change to me. In fact I do prefer to work on Sundays and off on weekdays because it is more relaxing to go out for coffee and draw.
Wine and cheese. Yes or no?
Wine on occasion; and yes I like cheese. We always used to have cheese after lunch or dinner, my father enjoying French traditions being of French descent.
If you were given a million euros, what would you indulge yourself with?
I would build a modern Art Gallery, and include my father’s collection, a studio for myself and a permanent gallery.
Favourite place to holiday?
I prefer Italy. So much to see. The landscape, the people, the food and of course the art museums and treasures. However I like to go and visit European cities mostly for occasional exhibitions, for short visits two or three days.