CAMILLE MYLES_Overwhelmed_Victoria_Here I am Here We Are_2022_18X24_Oil on wood panel.jpg

Portraiture
Oil & Encaustic painting

"Just a Moment" Portraits of mothers

This series, titled “Here I am, Here We Are”, I portray contemporary mothers in a raw, intimate and authentic way. While I was going through mental health struggles after my third child and balancing work and family obligations, my life was spiralling. One day, I stared at a simple portrait of my grandmother with her eyes closed which I had painted more than a decade earlier and it struck me - I understood what she went through and felt connected to her in an intimate way. I had to go back and create art again.

 

Stemming from the need to connect with others and my art while going through this time, I asked mothers on social media to take a moment for themselves to reflect and share with me a selfie with their eyes closed. I was overwhelmed with the response. I received over 100 private messages with testimonials on the inner struggles of contemporary motherhood, a discussion not normally presented on curated social media pages. I took these reference photos and started to reconnect with myself and my art practice in a healing journey of self-discovery. For this series of oil paintings on wood panels, I wanted to elevate the simple selfie in an almost historic dramatic way with high contrast colours and halos that evoke Madonna and child religious portraits. This process has been a way for me to spiritually connect with others mothers and to know I’m not alone, we are all here facing some of the same issues related to our gender constructs and roles. 

Oil paintings
Encaustic - painting with beeswax