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MALTATODAY 20 February 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 20 FEBRUARY 2022 2 THE Q&A ANNA NIGHTINGALE BY LAURA CALLEJA suggestions by email A Fine Art Painting graduate of Central Saint Martins, Anna Nightingale has built international acclaim from her studios in Malta and Luxembourg. Nightingale has had 16 solo shows and 20 group shows and is the Director of Intimate Life Drawing events on Malta and Gozo. She is currently Artist in Residence at The Phoenicia, Malta until 27th February. What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Make a large mug of tea, maybe two then practice yoga which attends to my mind and soul. Then coffee. Four times a week I swim for an hour after I have dropped James at school. Then I paint. What is the best advice you've ever received? Be careful what you wish for be- cause you might just get it. What do you never leave the house without? My phone and mascara. Pick three words that describe yourself Passionate, loyal, a dreamer. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Becoming a mother. Witnessing an extraordinary person develop, one who has seen so much at such a young age yet is so kind and balanced. I like to think I have had something to do with it, but he was born on the happy side of life with his own strong character and it sometimes feels like he is the one looking after me! He still feels like my miracle and always will. What is your guiltiest pleasure? Roll up cigarettes. I can go months without one but I do love them occasionally, and a good tequila or gin. What is the most important lesson life has taught you? Trust your instinct. Property and cars aside what's the most expensive thing you've ever bought? Mui Mui biker boots in LA. I don't wear them much; I have a pair that cost peanuts I wear much more…but they transport me to La La Land and the months I lived in West Hollywood. A true adult's playground. What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger? That I was more than good enough just as I am Who's your inspiration? My son and my close friends. What has been your biggest chal- lenge? Facing cancer, twice If you weren't an artist what would you be doing? Working on film sets most probably and SFX makeup in film. Do you believe in God? I believe in the power of prayer. I believe there is a higher force on a different dimension than us, a parallel universe. I do not believe that there is one man with a white beard over there. For me our spirit soul tribe are there helping us on our earth walk, always by our side. Reiki helps me connect as does meditation. If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be? Michael Jackson. A good friend who has a music studio outside Dublin had MJ and his children stay in her house for almost a year. I loved him anyway but knowing so much more from her just confirmed that yes, he was the one and only person I have always really wanted to meet. The sweetest soul. I cried when he died. What's your worst habit? Rushing, not in the athletic way. What are you like when you're drunk? Funny, so I am told! Who would you have play you in a film? Gwyneth Paltrow. I was once in a small house party and she was also a guest with her then husband Chris Martin. I was so overwhelmed I simply lost my ability to speak. I re- gret not talking to her. She seemed lovely and gentle. Beautiful aura. I believe she is mesmerizing on film. I enjoy Goop too; she is down to earth which is a quality I love. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Flakiness. What music would you have played at your funeral? John Denver, Take me home, coun- try roads. Mum and dad played it in the car and we would sing along when I was a kid. It makes me smile. What is your most treasured mate- rial possession? My apartment in Gozo. What is your earliest memory? Being in a play pen under the Chestnut tree in Tarporley while mum and dad worked close by. When did you last cry, and why? I cried a few days after my return to Luxembourg in January. I was separated from my son for a month which was too hard for me. I had been so strong, my first solo show after beating cancer. It was so suc- cessful and I had got myself back on my feet and all was good. I was home with my son but I just kind of melted… with relief. Who would you most like to meet? Difficult, there are a few artists from the past I would love to hang out with but you know I've always wanted to meet Madonna, since about 11 years old so it has kind of stuck. Maybe one day. She still fascinates me. What's your favourite food? Japanese without doubt. Toro sashi- mi is my favourite closely followed by yellow tail. I love Maltese red prawns. I also feel an English roast is hard to beat. Who's your favourite person on social media right now? Adriene Mishler, a yoga teacher, literally a lifeline in recent years and Rachel Lewins both are inspi- rational. Recently crazy for a painterJenna Gribbon. She really paints like a dream. If you could travel in time, where would you go? Probably to visit (briefly) some past lives. People I know now that I feel I have known in past lifetimes, just to affirm my assumptions! If past lives are not possible then I would love to visit my grandmother Vera who I never met, my mothers' mum who died tragically of cancer aged 39. What book are you reading right now? The Book of Barely Imagined Beings by Caspar Henderson. If you could have any superpow- er, what would it be? Oh, I would like a few! If it is one. To be able to fly. What's one thing you want to do before you die? Hold my son's children. What music are you listening to at the moment? I have a very eclectic taste, would be impossible to say what all gen- res…all types. My play list darts from one thing to another. In the shower or when you're working out, what do you sing/ listen to? Working out I need dance music from my clubbing days. Bath not shower for me so either silence or some chill out stuff. I only sing in then car and only to 3 songs! Sing by Travis Billie Jean and Green Eyes by Coldplay. When James was four, I said "Babes this song can be about you, alter the lyrics a bit and it is how I feel'' Needless to say it is his favourite song. We belt that one out when together in the car. He does have green eyes, as he likes to add at the end.

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