Because I only work in the HUB-BUB office 8 hours a week, much of what I hear about most of what’s happening is through meetings and chatter around the office. I pick up on small things and try to ask follow-up questions when I can and when there’s time. During the interview stage for new AiRs back in March, there was a lot of this happening. It’s a daunting and thrilling experience to choose among 150 or so artists and only pick four to come to a residency. But there are always the ones that immediately stand out. Camille was one of them.
What I kept hearing associated with the name Camille was passion. That you could tell by the way she talked about her work that it was more than just about creating art–it was about helping people, saving people. That to her, art was emotional. That a specific project she was working on involved creating machines to save people.
Here’s how Camille explains in her own words what she’s doing:
In her work, Bonham explores the desire to keep others from harm and the limitations of our ability to do so, as well as the necessity, futility and humor of the ways we revisit and try to change what we know we can’t.
We talked about this on a walk recently. As we randomly wandered the streets surrounding downtown Spartanburg, alternatively on loud Henry St. and the quiet, still mid-streets, we talked about our work. Camille’s background in economics led her to Ghana, which led her to change her focus to art. Because she realized the complications and heartbreak of rescuing people. And this led her to drawing machines, blueprints, “Devices to Rescue Everyone from Everything.” Among them, there’s “Device to Protect You When You’re Scared of the Dark,” “Device to Keep Your Love from Leaving You,” and “Decision Making Device that Knows What You Truly Want.”
As we walked that day, I felt what the others had felt when they first interviewed her, why there was so much awe over her already. I felt her passion–and that, my friends, is what we brought to Spartanburg. We bring in artists like Camille that have a passion for art and, even more, a passion for people. For using their skills in whatever way they can to help improve the lives of those who live in our community and beyond.
The AiR Entry Show has been going up in The Showroom over the last few days. I haven’t seen it finished yet (but I have to go to the ATM sometime today because from what I have seen I want it all), but you can tonight from 7-9 at the opening reception. Camille’s work is up alongside Mark’s and Steve’s and, through collaborations, Eric’s. And, looking forward, if you want to learn more about Camille’s work–though you can certainly ask her tonight–all of the artists will be giving an Art Talk and having an Open Studio on Thursday, August 18 at The Showroom.
In the meantime, explore more of Camille’s work on her website.