Sparking conversations with community
I believe that public art can spark meaningful and honest conversation.
As a female artist, I wish to set an example and inspire other women to elevate their art and nurture their creativity. Exploring my feminine identity and interaction with others through reflective imagery is an important aspect of her work.
Art that speaks to its environment and draws the viewer in as an active participant, are of particular interest to me as an artist. In my public artwork, I use forms and perspectives that challenge the viewer’s perspective, incorporating elements that appear to defy gravity, trick the eye, and offer elements that are ever-changing. Through reflections and distortions, I ground the spectator in the present, encouraging each viewer to see themselves as part of, not separate from, the piece and the story it tells.
Public art is a shared experience both in its viewing and in its creation.
Sown, Midland, Ontario, 2021
Public Art for Midland, Ontario, 2021 by artist team Camille Myles & Holly Archer (Industrial design by Jonathan Killing, Fabrication by Lafontaine Iron Werks)
“Sown” stands for the unnamed heroes who shape our community; an ode to the underrepresented who are vital to the fabric of our history but remain largely anonymous. The piece acknowledges a flawed past, and yet from this imperfect past there is new growth. The seeds we plant today, the community we build, the opportunities we make for one another will determine our future.
We have chosen five “log-like” pillars, of different sizes and at different positions. Physically the pillars reflect our industrial history of logging, shipping, the railway, agriculture, and manufacturing. The pillar design concept was selected to echo our collective strength, to represent the five fingers of the hands that built this community, and to mirror the local geography of the five Bays from the foundational Indigenous legend of Kitchikewana. Our history is deeply rooted in a foundation established by Indigenous communities. European settling of Indigenous territories forever altered the natural and cultural landscape of Midland and communities across Canada- this truth must be acknowledged. The element of new growth in the piece intentionally draws on the feminine, interacts with light, and the visual of breaking free, signifying the need to create space for one another, and move beyond constraining societal constructs. Our shared past has moments of light and darkness; it is our foundation. The decisions we make, the seeds we sow, are paramount. We are all a part of that future. This piece is a hopeful homage to Midland, a place shaped by memory, welcoming what lies ahead.
For more information about this piece, visit: https://engagingmidland.ca/sown-public-art-installation
Land of the White Rolling Sands, Penetanguishene, Ontario, 2020
“Land of the White Rolling Sands”, public art installation in February 2020 by Camille Myles in partnership with Lafontaine Iron Werks for the fabrication and installation was well-received overall by the local art committee, the general public and by local media as well as local First Nation groups.
Description of the piece
Held by a stylized paddle, a large mirrored sphere on an inclined surface reflects the town’s vibrant streetscape, grounding it into the present. The sphere brings the onlooker to think about the duality of our present; anchored both in the past while hoping for a better tomorrow, which may also be an uphill journey. Together we can be proud of our past, richly imprinted by First peoples culture and identity. Playing with abstracted symbols of Penetanguishene, this piece forces us to focus on where we are, taking in all the reflections that surround us. In an ever-disconnected world, this piece grounds the onlooker to where they are and brings consciousness to this place; a land of the white rolling sands where dreams are lived…
Well-received media coverage:
New 'conversation piece' helps create 'more vibrant' downtown, Orillia Matters & Midland Today, Feb 2020
New public sculpture ‘thrusts’ Penetanguishene into the future, Simcoe.com, Feb 2020
Première oeuvre publique, Le gout de vivre, Mars 2020