When Vanessa thinks back to when her love affair with art began, she recalls standing in front of Caravaggio’s Beheading of Saint John The Baptist in St John’s Cathedral, Malta . Despite the many years that have passed since, she can still see the detail and feel the immense gravity of the painting which left her awe inspired. It was this very day, this precise moment in time when her journey as an artist began. So moved was she by the masterpiece, her father swiftly whisked her out of the gallery and into a little art shop where he bought her first book of paper and set of coloured pencils. Having Maltese parents Vanessa spent many extended periods living in the family ’s home on the Island of Gozo in Malta, a limestone outcrop surrounded by the deep blue of the Mediterranean. A slow - paced charming Island where a church bell and rooster break daylight and the rhythm is slow. Despite so many happy memories, Vanessa hasn’t been back to Gozo since the last childhood trip, from which she and her mother returne d without her beloved father who tragically passed away on the island. After completing a Bachelor of Education majoring in Visual Arts, Vanessa began teaching and until recently has not had the time to fully focus herself on her practice. Now, surrounded by hundreds of books that adorn the walls of her home studio, she is completely immersed in her work. Vanessa works with oil paints, pushing them around the boards she paints on with a little linseed oil, bringing to life vibrant studies of sardines, man darins and pomegranates. Never knowing exactly where she will end up when she starts a piece, it is the light that speaks to her – the way it catches her eye refracting off one of her subjects - and from that moment her next painting is underway.