Trevor Diacono: 'The best advice I’ve received is to stay true to my artistic vision and not be swayed by external expectations'

Artist Trevor Diacono tells all in our Q&A

Photo by Mark Cassar
Photo by Mark Cassar

Trevor Diacono is a contemporary artist living in Brussels, whose work reflects a profound connection to the sea, an exploration of the extraordinary within the ordinary.  His solo exhibition ‘eye sea you’ is currently on at il-Kamra ta’ Fuq, in Mqabba, until 3 December.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I usually start my day with a cup of coffee and some quiet time to plan my day.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I’ve received is to stay true to my artistic vision and not be swayed by external expectations.

What do you never leave the house without?

I always make sure to have my phone and a notebook with me, as they’re essential for both communication and jotting down ideas.

Pick three words that describe yourself

Inquisitive, introspective, and determined.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

My most significant achievement is creating art that resonates with people and evokes emotions.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

My guiltiest pleasure is spending hours listening to podcasts, where I explore diverse topics and stories, finding inspiration for my work.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Life has taught me that every experience, whether good or bad, contributes to our personal growth and understanding.

Property and cars aside, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

The most substantial investment I’ve made is in my collection of art materials.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

I wish I understood earlier the importance of resilience and learning from failure.

Who’s your inspiration?

I draw inspiration from everyday life, nature, people, and the interplay of light and shadow in the world around me.

What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge has been finding a balance between my art and other aspects of life. The dedication required for creating art can sometimes be all-consuming.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?

If I weren’t an artist, I’d likely be in a profession related to the natural world, perhaps working in conservation or environmental advocacy.

Do you believe in God?

I hold a deep respect for spirituality and diverse beliefs. While I may not adhere to a specific religious doctrine, I believe in the power of the human spirit and the interconnectedness of all life.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

I’d choose to have dinner with Leonardo da Vinci. His remarkable fusion of art, science, and innovation has always fascinated me.

What’s your worst habit?

My worst habit is heading out with clothes splattered in paint and hands stained from my creative endeavors.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I’m quite a responsible drinker, so I remain coherent and engage in conversations with friends when I do consume alcohol.

Who would you have play you in a film?

I’d prefer someone with a depth of artistic expression like Daniel Day-Lewis.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I’m often disheartened by intolerance and a lack of empathy in others. Open-mindedness and compassion are qualities I deeply value.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

I’d choose the soulful and uplifting melodies of Bob Marley to infuse my farewell with a sense of positivity and celebration of life.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My most treasured material possessions are the sculptures and drawings created by my grandfather. They are not just art but cherished family heirlooms that inspire me daily.

What is your earliest memory?

My earliest memory is of standing by the seashore eating watermelon.

When did you last cry, and why?

The last time I shed tears was during the birth of my daughter, Rumi.

Who would you most like to meet?

I would most like to meet David Altmejd, an artist whose work and innovative approach to art deeply inspire me.

What’s your favorite food?

My favorite food is undoubtedly rabbit, a traditional dish that holds a special place in my heart.

Who’s your favorite person on social media right now?

I find the work of contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama incredibly captivating on social media.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

I’d love to travel to the Renaissance era to witness the art and innovation of that period firsthand.

What book are you reading right now?

Currently, I’m engrossed in “The Power Of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, a book on mindfulness and presence.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

If I could have a superpower, it would be the ability to understand and communicate with all living creatures.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

One thing I aspire to do is create a large-scale public art installation that brings people together through shared experiences.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

At the moment, I’m enjoying the beats of minimal techno, which complements my creative process with its rhythmic and immersive qualities.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

During my shower or workout, I enjoy listening to podcasts, as they provide a fascinating stream of knowledge and inspiration while I go about my daily routine.