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Canales, Camille

acrylic painting
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Website: Camille Canales

Camille Canales is a new Chicago artist with works that forge together elements of nature and of the man-made world. Using traditional craft methods such as beadwork and embroidery, she transforms her drawings and paintings into cloth environments filled with bio-mechanical forms. Camille obsessively hand stitches most of her work, giving her time to construct personal narratives that relate to her characters. She works intuitively, responding to materials and situations around her, letting her hands and subconscious come together to create new creatures and landscapes.

Originally from South Texas, Camille came to Chicago after discovering her attraction to making art. She began her practice in 2003 with works in pastel, oil painting, and wood sculpture while attending Austin Community College. She participated in two shows that showcased the top student artists at ACC. In 2004 Camille transferred to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was introduced to fiber arts and received her BFA in Fiber and Material Studies in 2007.

Currently, Camille is the artist in residence for the textile department at Lillstreet Art Center. Her first group exhibition outside of school will be on August 8, 2008, titled "Natural Progressions- New Works by Artists-in-Residence at Lillstreet Arts Center". She will also be participating in the Chicago Arts Districts' 38th annual PilsenEast Artists' Open House in September, as well as teaching classes at Lillstreet in the fall and winter sessions.

In my work, I am drawn to the likenesses and stark contrasts of our natural and unnatural world. I feel disconnected from our society's rapid advancement in technology and long for a time when things were made for craftsmanship rather than obsolescence.

Obsessively stitching bio-mechanical figures is my way of grappling with these issues. The repetitive motions in sewing allow my mind to wander around environments of my creation, leaving me to figure out reasons for their existence. I find satisfaction in my artistic control of these places that at times feel more tangible and manageable than the real world I live in.

Drawing and painting have always been an integral part of my practice, allowing me to work intuitively and idiosyncratically. Imagery comes to me as I respond to my materials and my environments. I enjoy slowly building up the surfaces in my cloth drawings by using traditional craft methods such as embroidery and beadwork. When I construct my characters and environments, I embellish layers of details that correspond to the narrative in a lengthy process. My work is a record of these fluid motions between my hands and my subconscious.
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