First and foremost, please introduce yourself…
Janette Danel Helleu – photographer
When and how did you get started?
As a 7-year-old, I took my father’s Kodak camera and have never stopped since.
What genre do you consider your work to be?
Describe your work in 10 words or less.
My photographs are untouched and thus reflect reality.
Where was your first exhibition held?
My first exhibition was at the Maritime Museum in Birgu as part of the SEA SHE SEES exhibition; while my first solo exhibition will be held this September at the Palazzo de Piro, Mdina.
Do you have a favourite from among your own artworks? If so, why?
I have worked on many different projects and created various books. My favourites are the ones I work on at that particular moment and many past ones stay with me as wonderful memories.
What are you working on at the moment?
Through the eyes of Dolly… This is a whole series of photographs that I have taken while driving my Dolly; my 1976 2CV car, around the islands of Malta and Gozo, capturing unexpected moments.
Which artist’s work are you most inspired by?
David Goldblatt, South Africa’s best photographer.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A full-time captain/sailor.
What is the epitome of happiness for you?
Other than knowing my children are healthy, the thing that struck me most recently was one moment when I was sailing the South Pacific. The ocean was totally flat, the sun was going down and an enormous whale came up alongside us and looked up at us… and it was that look that was just so exceptional, a moment of pure happiness to be so close to nature.
What brought you to Malta?
Sailing got me here the first and second times and then friends, who had been neighbours in London and Paris, bought a place here and I thought, why not a third time?
What do you love about Malta?
the beauty of the island with the dominant presence of the sea, the impact of its history, the sun all year round, the amazing light, the extreme friendliness of its people and there is so much to do on all fronts…
What do you hate about Malta?
It’s missing a forest…
Favourite colour and what it means to you?
Green, the colour of peace.
What is your favourite indulgence?
Discovering the world.