Matthew Joseph Casha: ‘Work hard at what you can change, avoid worrying about what you can’t control’

Artist and design architect, Matthew Joseph Casha tells all in our Q&A

As an artist and design architect, Matthew views the world differently, helping him understand better materiality and hidden meaning. In his first solo exhibition, tmermir, Matthew explores the often-misunderstood aesthetics of decay. The exhibition is open till June 16 at Rudy Buhler Art Gallery in Marsaskala.

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

First thing when I get out of bed is have my morning espresso and sit down to plan my day. 

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 

Best advice would be to work hard at what you can change and avoid worrying about the things you cannot control. 

What do you never leave the house without? 

My phone and my two diaries – one for taking notes related to my work and the other I use as my art journal, where I write down any ideas or thoughts that come to mind. 

Pick three words that describe yourself 

Creative, impatient and curious. 

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? 

On a professional note – setting up my architecture firm and winning the Premju ghall-Arti 2023 with Open Square Collective. On a personal note – my family. 

What is your guiltiest pleasure? 

I would say collecting anything related to the world of Pokemon, such as Trading Cards, and 3D printing figurines of Pokemon using my 3D printers. 

What is the most important lesson life has taught you? 

Always be true to yourself. 

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

My mirrorless cameras, as an avid photographer and tech-geek I am always reading up on the latest photography gear. 

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

To slow down more because time does really fly by too fast. 

Who’s your inspiration? 

My family – my wife is a constant inspiration, and my parents are constantly encouraging me to pursue my dreams. 

What has been your biggest challenge? 

Returning to University to do my Masters in Fine Arts (Digital Art) while juggling my full-time job and having a new born. 

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

I would probably have studied the culinary arts with the aim of becoming a chef. 

Do you believe in God? 

Yes; for me my spirituality is a form of keeping myself and my life in check. Having a sense of the greater unknown helps me to remain grounded and supported, even in the hardest of times. 

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

I would probably ask for another dinner with a friend of ours, Josef, who lost his battle with cancer last year. 

What’s your worst habit? 

Biting my nails when I am stressed. 

What are you like when you’re drunk? 

I don’t get drunk. When I drink socially with friends, I take a few drinks but never consume more than my own limit. 

Who would you have play you in a film? 

Probably a comedian of some sort – maybe Adam Sandler? 

What is the trait you most deplore in others? 

Tardiness – I try to be on time as possible wherever I go, and I simply cannot stand when people arrive late to appointments or meetings. 

What music would you have played at your funeral? 

Something from Mozart’s Requiem. 

What is your most treasured material possession? 

I do not give too much importance to material possessions, but if I had to choose something it would be a watch that was passed down from my grandfather to my father to me. 

What is your earliest memory? 

Waking up and finding a large soft-toy of a dog sitting at the edge of my bed. 

When did you last cry, and why? 

At the birth of our daughter, seeing her for the first time was a life-altering moment for me. 

Who would you most like to meet? 

Anyone with a creative mind. I try to surround myself with people who are not tied down with the norm and with whom the exchange of ideas is their favourite topic. 

What’s your favourite food? 

I am a sucker for a good pizza, but I wouldn’t mind a good soulful BBQ either. 

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

I don’t follow social media too much, as I feel that our generation is losing too much time trying to impress a metaverse of people living unrealistic lives. 

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

I would travel back to a time without mobile phones – life seemed much simpler then. 

What book are you reading right now? 

Besides the odd art journals, I am currently reading a book by Andrew Graham Dixon, called Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane 

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

I would slow down time so that I could have more time to spend working on my art and spending time with my family. 

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

Visit Japan and the Orients with my family. 

What music are you listening to at the moment? 

I am currently listening to classical music mostly (in particular piano concertos), but pieces that are written by more contemporary composers. 

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

No idea what to answer for this one.