Locked away in a blue, metal box, hundreds of slides by Carmelo (better known as Clo by those close to him) sat waiting to be discovered. Now, 50 years since the first photos were snapped, his grandchildren Matthew and Joanna Demarco have started uploading them to Facebook for everyone to see. And to all those who love Malta, they’re an absolute treat.
“Nannu Clo had a glass door which led onto his yard, which was a perfect light source to point the viewer at, and we’d spend hours on the floor looking at different slides.”
Speaking to Lovin Malta, the siblings spoke about the moment they realised the photos provided more than just an afternoon pastime. “When we were young, the interest lay more in seeing older relatives when they were young. Seeing this photos again years later, after he passed away, we came to realise a deeper significance to the images. “
“There was a well of documented visual information, an insight into the life of a humble family man, well before I ever knew him, and a picture of a Malta from an angle that i hadn’t seen before” explained Matthew, when asked what the most stand-out moment of the discovery was. For Joanna it was the realisation that her nannu had a keen eye for noticing exactly when a shot had to be taken.
“Minor details, usually background details, which showed that he waited for a photograph, to make the picture more exciting, or more balanced.”
“Clo’s camera is a a window into a life and a time, more than anything and what we want to achieve is basically to give people the opportunity to look through that window. The whole family’s support for the project encouraged us to take it forward.”
Joanna, who is a photographer herself, said that if Clo was an influence on her work, it wasn’t a conscious one. “I never really looked at my nannu as a photographer, it was so normal to me that he carried a camera around that i thought everyone did.”
“I didn’t really look at these images till after I started my MA and realised the value to them. If there was an influence, maybe it was subconscious, or genetic, but it definitely wasn’t a conscious one.”