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Camilla Scaramanga began painting and exhibiting in the 1980’s, before completing her Art Degree at Sir John Cass in 2000. Since then she has continued with writing and exhibitions, while teaching in London. Her work is concerned with politics, the subtext of appearances, nature and the unconscious. She is informed by philosophy, fairytales, Buddhism, the Course in Miracles, and aspects of Christianity.
My work is concerned with the purity and spontaneity of existence, and the binary opposition of death. A heartfelt response to the world encompasses nature and the unconscious, which in turn provokes elements of surrealism.
I work mainly figuratively, and some inspiration draws from Renaissance art through to the 19th century. Certain copies I made at the National Gallery took on a life of their own. They became political, which, while not originally intended, grew from central, natural concerns, probing the undertone of appearances.
I would rather give art the freedom to unravel at its own pace, in its own way, working in lieu with it, as in a weave. This is reflected in the I Ching hexagram, ‘Innocence,’ the natural, which includes the idea of the unintentional and unexpected. ‘When movement is in accord with heaven, man is innocent and without guile. His mind is natural and true, unshadowed by reflection or ulterior designs.’
Animals have entered my drawings and paintings. In their purity, they reflect an innocence that we seem to leave behind as we grow up. Many embody wild, raw movement born of instinct, our natural state, before thought or concept came in. Their nature is completely connected to spirit, while ours becomes broken, but catches it in brief, heightened moments.
Some subject matter may be dark or death orientated. I feel that in its true state, art cannot help but reflect what is going on around it. In opposition to this, the Course in Miracles states that this world is not real because only love is, and humanity is simply living a lie by consensus. If some humans are demonic in their ways, it is simply a measure of how far they have come from their true state of being. Picasso, albeit in another context, said that art is a lie that makes us see the truth.
I prefer taking photographs with an older style SLR camera, and endeavour to avoid manipulation. I would rather leave space for the pre digital ‘ghost’, and shorten the distance between my own input and the machinery, rather than have the digitized camera do all of the work. The blurring of some images conveys distances in time, space and perception.
I like the tactile process of drawing and painting in a similar vein to un-choreographed dance and music. What surfaces through dancing with pencil, paint and etching needle, speaks more like an oracle to me than that which is consciously designed.
1988 Group show, Phoenix Rise Centre , Scottsdale, Arizona
1989 Solo show, Gentle Strength Gallery, Tempe, Arizona
2000 Degree Show, Sir John Cass Arts, E1
2001 Solo show, Handbag Café Gallery, Crescent Road, N22
2002 City & Guilds 7407 Teaching certificate in F.E
2003 Air Group Show, Hortensia Gallery, SW10
2003-2005 PGCE Art and Design, Secondary, Goldsmiths University (withdrew)
2008 Barbican Arts Trust, Open Studios, N1
2009 Bar Room Bar Gallery, Rosslyn Hill, NW3
2011 Open Studio, Marchmont Street, WC1
2012 Euroart Open Studios, N15
2014 Bow Arts Open Studios