I was born in Valletta on the 26th December 1950 to Carlo (Charles) Camilleri, a confectioner/baker and Felicia nee Agius.
From a tender age, I felt a natural urge to draw and paint. Growing up, this urge grew gradually into a strong fervor to explore the realms of art. I can still recall when, at the age of six, in my first year at the Government Primary School in Old Mint Street, Valletta, during each weekly session of art and craft, I was asked by my teacher, the tall, fair and gentle Ms Felice, to leave my bench and assist my classmates in their project.
My classmates showed a clear sign of gratitude, especially those who found it hard to build up their models in Plasticine. This instilled in me an element of self-confidence in making art. Now I consider such instances as my very first practical experience in art instruction.
It was also at this time that I won my first prize in a children’s art competition. It was a Rediffusion National Art contest for a picture about the Kukkanja, a traditional maltese carnival attraction. How proud I was with my trophy, an ebony black fountain-pen with the word Rediffusion engraved on its gold clip.
Next: the ’60s