EMMA MATTEI is the co-creator and editor of the Uncommon series of guide books. Their first offering Uncommon Malta & Gozo,  a beautiful blend of travelogue and art book,  offers readers a unique experience by creatively exploring this enticing region’s rich history & lore. Emma is also a founding member of KINEMASTIK an International Short Film Festival held in Malta.

WHAT WAS YOUR VERY FIRST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?

My grandfather’s garden in Malta. I lived with my grandparents for two years and they live in this old lodge. My grandfather had a way of not over grooming the garden, even though he was so attentive – he would grow nasturtium for his butterflies, which is almost like a weed, next to a cultivated rose bush, he would let the creepers get entangled in the trees, yet be precise about cutting back a citrus tree, so there was this sense of order and chaos that makes sense to a child. Plus there were excellent places to hide, far away from homework.

WHICH OF YOUR 5 SENSES IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Touch. It’s the sense I don’t use enough. It’s the one that has the most power. It’s the one most difficult to describe. It’s the one that connects us to each other the most, when words, and everything else, fails.

HOW DO YOU ACCESS YOUR CREATIVITY?

Silence. I talk too much. It takes me two days to shut up.  It’s hard, but I go to an island called Gozo and just wait until I have nothing left to say, until the extra pots and pans have been put away. Then everything begins to work again. Having said that, nothing like a road trip to get the fires burning.

WHAT IS THE FIRST WORD THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS IMAGE?

This is that point when the salamander leaves the water world to start its life on earth.

Published: March 6th, 2012

Previous in this series:

STANISLAS GARAUD: Black Magic