Gone are the days of the stereotypical portrayal of women as weak damsels in distress as Camille Robiou du Pont and Kim Cruz show powerful women through art.
Women empowerment is a significant advocacy that basically says strength knows no gender. Hence, feminism-centered art forms with the purpose to see strong women through the elements of visual art are significant in this day and age, and artist Camille Robiou du Pont has long been embracing her vision that women of strength and power can be represented amidst bodies of water.
Camille Robiou du Pont is a French photographer and visual artist who’s passionate about capturing femininity in the ocean. She loves the Philippines, nature, and the people that come with it, which is why she never left Siargao since what was supposed to just be a visit in 2016.
Just recently, the walls of the Modeka Creative Space in Makati City were filled with art pieces by Camille and fellow creative and painter Kim Cruz. Camille initially presented to Kim a series of photos shot on her film camera, and right then and there, both saw the shades of blue present in their art with the theme centered on the bareness of modern women.
The message of Les Paradis Perdus (The Lost Paradises) provided a key link between the figure of Camille’s models captured on film, and the brushstroke interpretations of Kim.
Camille shared with MEGA that working with Kim was as smooth and fast as possible. In just six months, they were able to curate five paintings inspired by four of her photographs. However, they eventually realized that they wanted to show more during the event, which is why they produced 20 photos and 20 paintings that matched with the rest of the artwork displayed.
The exhibition did not only capture the message of the art pieces, but it also clearly presented the characters of the artists. Although Camille cannot speak on Kim’s behalf, she is convinced that they both have meaningful visions for the modern woman as the drive to take this advocacy public came from believing in themselves first.
Due to the success of the collaboration, the exhibit satisfied Camille’s visualization of inspiring people through every story seen in her photographs that manifest how a woman can be represented in the water.
When asked if she can share some locations in Siargao where she shot her wonderful pieces, she replied, “I would like to keep it a secret.” Every location shown is an important element to communicate her art, and it gives it a sense of mystery. Camille purposely chooses a place in Siargao that no one can recognize because she wants people to focus solely on the powerful message of nostalgia than to know where it was actually shot.
Inspiration through music
Her artistic process also involves listening to music. She shared that out of nowhere, images appear in her mind while listening to a song’s melody and lyrics. Music makes her understand emotion—how she would like to represent her feelings in every captured concept. As music also plays during events, she mentioned her love of watching people dance because she recognizes that body movements are similar to the natural motions of water.
The purpose continues
The whole experience of doing the exhibition with an artist like Kim was truly a fulfillment for Camille. Despite the fact that there are currently no talks of a part two collaboration, she considers the joint project a nice experience after seeing someone interpret her pictures into painting.
“My art is being transformed by someone into another art medium. [It’s] always very challenging, but also super interesting.”Camille Robiou du Pont
She also said that she has been receiving positive comments from people when they look at her photos since each one makes them travel in their minds.
“It is very important for me to have all these reflections behind the photos, and we had really good feedback from people telling us that they feel a sense of freedom as a woman. They are empowered without being sexualized, and have a very strong communication aspect with the body.”Camille Robiou du Pont
To see more of Camille Robiou du Pont’s works visit her Instagram
Images courtesy of CAMILLE ROBIOU DU PONT and KIM CRUZ