‘I have many loud conversations with my cat’

Francesca Balzan is an artist, art historian, and the podcaster behind Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti’s Treasures from Malta. She’s currently working on her upcoming exhibition, Turning Tables, at Muża alongside Glen Calleja.
Francesca Balzan with one of her creations. Photo: Inigo Taylor

The weekend starts: On a Friday night! Preferably meeting artist friends at an exhibition launch, and then off to dinner to let all the art sink in. Dinner must be informal, but the wine must be excellent. It is no good discussing art over mediocre wine.

Early riser? Not particularly. I try not to have set times to rise. I hate all forms of strictures. But once I’m up, I’m a total morning person. Luckily, so is my cat, so I have many loud conversations with him while my husband covers his ears (not a morning person, that one!)

I’m at my most relaxed when: I’m in the countryside on a long ramble, with no particular place to be at a given time. I need my sea and nature fix, otherwise I’ll be grumpy for the entire weekend.

Go out or spend time in? Out, discovering!

Guilty weekend pleasure: I try not to work at the weekend, but when a sculpture is turning out well and I’m in love with it, I do sneak into the studio just to stare at it.

Saturdays give me time to: Catch up on errands, like choosing bulbs and plugs and dull things, but it’s necessary, as I’m trying to finish off my new studio. I work off all this dullness with a long, long walk in the countryside in search of new trails and vistas in our utterly beautiful natural landscape (what’s left of it – no thanks to greedy developers)

Sundays are for: Organising lunch with family, cooking something mad (because I’m haphazard and impetuous with my cooking – I’ve whipped up great dishes but also some deeply dreadful ones), and diving back into the countryside.

My childhood weekends were: More organised than my present ones. I’d hang out with my dad as we ran errands and then he’d take me to Valletta for a cappuccino at our favourite café. Sunday lunch was always spent with the family, either at home or at one of the few restaurants operating at the time (we’re speaking of the ‘70s here!)

I close off the weekend with: Sunday night is for organising my upcoming week and finishing off some deskwork… Or even a late-night walk on the Buġibba front. Or a film… Whatever. No rules!

Check out more Sunday Circle features or see what Matty Cremona gets up to on the weekend.

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