ByBlacks caught up with one of Toronto’s most promising young artists Camille Lauren, and spoke to her about her motivation, style and launching her first solo exhibition.
What motivates you as an Artist?
Art has always been a vital tool, one that helped me to swallow lessons learned. Like parables, the ease of telling hard truths comes in the familiarity of the story. I am driven by the need to depict the stories I come across. I am urged by the varying emotions, cultures and conflicts brought about in the human experience. Poetry, literature and music are the fruits I consume and translate into Visual experiences. I believe that the ocean is rich, and my more recent work borrows from the depth of the tropical Caribbean experience.
What is your style?
My style varies, as I find most inspiration when actively trying new mediums and techniques. I enjoy using mixed media in my Artwork, which is acrylic-based. Blending fabrics, shells, feathers, beans and other natural items carry more power than the paint can hold on its own. My piece “Brown Sugar Steaming” depicts a rich molasses-toned woman, bathing in a shower that blends into a field of sugarcane. I mixed dried flowers and leaves, brown sugar, salt, and refined white sugar with a gloss medium to bring a tactile element of history into the piece. Shells lined the bottom of the tub, suggesting the trans-ocean travel that is soaked into the fabric our ethnic history.
Who has been an influence in your career to date?
My mentor Sharon Wickham has encouraged me to be courageous as I define my goals, diversify my skill set and pursue my purpose. As she developed her Hylton House brand I came to see a powerful woman with a real passion to see talent and expression revitalize communities. She has given me opportunities to assist with fashion shows, explore the world of Acting and Modelling while encouraging my desire to express my thoughts with poetry. She continues to demonstrate the lasting impact a caring mentor can have in a youth's life.
What do you have upcoming?
I am excited about what the summer of 2013 has in store. Select pieces of my Artwork will be displayed in the AfroChic Art show on June 15, Spoke N' Heard's Emanate Gallery Exhibit on July 2, the Art Galleria Expo on July 19, and the August 17 India Art showcase.
What is Spoke N' Heard?
Spoke N' Heard is a multi-Arts production company that creates rich thematic experiences and events in the G.T.A. As the Branding Director, my position consists of designing the promotional material for our shows and curating the Visual Arts elements of each event.
Camille signs her work as “Ciel” which means sky in French. A selection of Camille’s paintings is currently displayed in the Magic Oven Resto-Bar, located at 360 Queen street east in Toronto. The 'ALIVE' exhibit opened on Monday, April 29 and continues throughout the Month of May.
Connect with Camille on Twitter and Instagram @Ciel_41L.