As a child, Camille Betts was always encouraged to keep her sense of play and experimentation open and alive. She started with ceramics at the Smeltzer House in Sherwood Park, and really started her art exploration in high school in a design class with Mr. Swainson.
Camille explored her creativity pursuing an industrial design degree, but realized quickly it wasn’t a good fit. She then decided to take a few years off to experience life outside educational institutions. With her love of three dimensional form, she found her way back in to the sculpture department, telling us, “I felt there was a lot to learn from Sculpture.” Camille obtained her BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design, with a major in Sculpture in 2006. She then went on a six month residency in 2009 – 2010, in the Interactive Arts and Entertainment Program at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto. In between, she travelled throughout the western half of this continent finding enlightenment through music and art. After Toronto she returned to translate her life into a visual and tactile realm of experiences.
Her body of work is decidedly ecologically conscience, as the majority of her materials are recycled or repurposed from their original function. Central to her work is the process of making recycled hand-made paper. She transforms this newly created paper, from the presumptive two dimensions into large three dimensional objects. Combining the paper with outdated forms of media, and other materials layered and woven together, creates new questions and stories about strength and longevity. The fragile nature of her work is influenced by the ethereal experience. Her ability to experience the here and now, while transcending the past and welcoming the future, creating strength through the inevitable changes of our times.
Camille is influenced by conceptualists, and Arte Povera of the 60 & 70’s…fauvism, bauhaus, graffiti. Artists such as Graeme Peacock, Isla Bell, Hunter Wasser, Gerhard Richter, H. R. Giger, Marisa Merz & Peter Von Teisenhausen also influence her work.
She got involved with Burnt Toast through her ACAD schoolmate Mandy Tsung. The studio had recently moved into a larger space and was looking for members. She tells us, “It has been a good match that has really let me explore so many mediums.” Since joining Burnt Toast, she has had opportunities to show her work frequently around Calgary including at Untitled Art Society, The Art Gallery of Calgary and Wreck City. She has worked with the Kit and Kaboodle Circus as well as The People Inchoate consistently over the last three years. In 2013, she started writing for Freq Magazine, and also joined forces with the Big Kitty Crew to create experiences of a more commercial nature. She is currently a Director at Studio Cartel.
Written by Rick Rosario
Edited by Renee Laferriere