In Camilla Webster’s new series “Flower Power: Exploring the Feminine.” Webster looks at female conscience, identity and desire. With so much contemporary art marketing shock value, she has purposefully gone in the opposite direction as a sign of respect for women. The faces inspired by print ads were chosen to make a commentary on our lens, our perception of women, our experience of femininity. Now in the 21st century, we find ourselves in the midst of profound and fast social changes, into which : “our girls must adapt themselves in order to become “women of substance” in the future. They must adapt with the added challenge of coming out “triumphant” and under the pressure of creating their “new identity” as well.
Taking in the Women’s March and watching women courageously speak their truth this year inspired her series, “Flower Power” Webster wants to express all of the powers women possess. Some considered more uniquely a sign of feminine strength, like “The Power of Faith”. Some negatively associated with the weakness of women in traditional environments, like “The Power of Envy” Her mission was to reflect on all of it and turn it on its head.
Webster has painted work in acrylic on canvas that speaks to challenges she has experienced in her own life and that she feels are common experiences for many women. “I have loved and been forbidden from showing it, I have loved everyone first, but myself. I have been filled with self-hatred and had to learn compassion. I have discovered envy to reveal my true desires which I am free to pursue as a modern woman. I have taken the journey of forgiving my enemy to free myself from the burden of resentment.” This is her journey and her paintings are symbols of a shared journey for women. All of this shows up in her paintings and frequently moves her viewers to tears, especially as they read and reflect on the poems that accompany each work.
Her message in the large “The Power of Self Love” , may be the most complicated, Webster purposely places her model in a pose suggestive of paintings by masters for private audiences of centuries past, while foreshortening her figure to suggest the woman’s childlike soul. The rose still represents love but the intense deep blue hues against the reddish pink of the roses combat to reflect the strange odyssey she is on to love herself unconditionally.