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Artist in Residence: Photography and Jazz with Therese Debono

Artist in Residence - Therese Debono - The Phoenicia Malta

For the month of July we had the pleasure of welcoming locally renowned photographer, Therese Debono, as our artist in residence.

With her father’s love for Jazz, it was inevitable that the young Therese would develop an interest in the genre. Combine this with Therese’s obsession with photographing everything as a young girl, and it isn’t a surprise that today, Therese is interested in mixing her two passions in a fresh and exciting way.

“In 1993 my father took me to my first Jazz Festival, while my friends were all listening to rock music, and I was hooked. Jazz was and will always be one of my favourite genres” comments Therese on her upbringing.

In 2010, Therese decided to take her passion for photography seriously and transform this into a full time career. She brazenly asked Arts Council Malta for the opportunity to shoot at the Malta Jazz Festival which they agreed to, helping Therese launch her career as a professional photographer.

“When shooting Jazz, I aim to capture the feel and expressions of the musicians as they play. I want the passion the artists express through their music to be visible in the images I take”.

From there, Therese has never looked back and now has her own studio and teaches the next generation of photographers. Upon speaking to Therese, it is evident that she is proud to have turned her passion into her full time career.

“I like to describe myself as a documentary photographer. I love to capture the mundane things as to me they are extraordinary” Therese reflects when asked how to describe her photography style.

“I love to photograph traditional Maltese interiors found in local places. I also have another project called Brides on Beds, where I capture a bride-to-be in full makeup on her parents bed as she is getting ready for the big day, documenting the transition from an unmarried woman to a married woman. I feel that these ideas are what set me apart from other photographers”.

Therese has many new projects in the pipeline including a potential book to be issued next year, forming part of the exhibiting artists at MUZA – The National Community of Arts Museum – between September and November this year, and hosting another collaborative exhibition before the year is out.

“I love photography so I’m always inventing new ideas and projects to keep things fresh and exciting. I want to inspire my students too by being as active within the industry as possible rather than just teaching.”

The Phoenicia Malta’s Artist in Residence initiative was created to help promote artistic talent in Malta. We are proud to have hosted some of the most talented artists Malta has to offer.

Photography by Therese Debono


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