Roderick Camilleri is a practising artist, curator, and educator. He studied art, art history, and philosophy at The University of Malta, and attended various professional development programmes at international institutions including Slade University and the Royal Academy of Arts in London, among others. His interdisciplinary visual art practice explores themes related to the nature of things and materiality. Roderick is a full-time art educator, teaching studio practice and theory at the Malta School of Art, and he is also the Vice President of the Malta Society of Arts.
His active role in the local art scene is characterised by a number of events which he either curates or participate in. Furthermore, he was the Artistic Director of AMuSE, an international art project led by the MSA – selected and co-funded by the European Commission. His interest in artistic direction and curatorial studies led him to participate in all the editions of the VIVA Curatorial School.
When and how did you get started?
Well, I started at an early age. I used to spend a lot of time doodling and drawing my imaginative characters and worlds. This caught the attention of my parents and thanks to their support I started attending various art workshops and classes. This on-going urge to develop my skills and my artistic practice led me to choose art as one of my main subjects during all the stages of my education.
What genre do you consider your work to be?
It is difficult to categorise all my work into one particular and exclusive genre, especially given that it is usually rooted in the context of what I’m going through at any particular time. It is not really the genre which defines my work but rather the approach and general orientation of the work itself which makes it particularly mine.
Describe your work in 10 words or less.
Visual and Covert
Where was your first exhibition held?
When I was still a young teenager, I participated in some art collectives. However, I think my earliest recollection of a mature art exhibition goes back to the times when I was studying at university, circa 10 years ago. I can recall three consecutive exhibitions I participated in which were organised by the Art History Department.
Recently, I participated in exhibitions and projects such Divergent Thinkers, curated by Prof. Raphael Vella at the Maritime Museum, the last edition of iMprint hosted at the Malta Society of Arts, curated by Dr. Christian Attard, and the APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale 2020, directed by Prof. Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci at the Mdina Cathedral Museum.
Do you have a favourite from among your own artworks? If so, why?
I don’t really have a particular favourite. However, I think that if I were to mention a favourite work, it would usually be the one I’m working on during that particular phase or moment, given that I am usually absorbed and focused on the process and results of the work.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m working on two specific series of work; one of which revolves around environmental issues, created by a particular organic found-object. This project is a collection of abstracted works made from local natural thorns.
The second series of work is about human endeavours; comprising work in painting and printmaking, especially woodcuts and etchings. This series will be exhibited at the Malta Postal Museum, later on this year, if the current COVID situation is up-lifted.
Which artists work are you most inspired by?
The list is endless. The more your research and explore, the more you realise that you cannot have favourites. However, my interests usually gravitate towards innovative persons who created moments in our history, who changed our ways of our seeing and transformed our mode of thinking.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Well, it is hard to answer such a question because besides being an artist, I am also an educator and curator among other things. Maybe a gardener.
What is the epitome of happiness for you?
Favourite colour and what it means to you?
I love colours. My choice for specific colours is usually relative and usually related to the context and situation. However, I am mostly very attracted to deep blue tones. I find them very soothing, expressing stability and prosperity. They reverberate vast dynamic emotional content, as well as psychological and physical depths. I associate them with the dominant hues which define and animate natural phenomena, such as skies and oceans. I also find the family of grey tones very sophisticated in their neutrality; and blacks – captivating, intriguing and timeless.
What is your favourite indulgence?
I must say, reading philosophy and history books, as well as experimenting with, or testing new materials and practices.
Roderick Camilleri is the latest artist to feature on our Artists Directory. For more find it here