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RAE 2008

Rearch Assessment Exercise 2008

Camilla Wilson

My research interests include:
Painting; painting’s relationship to photography and film, to interiors and architecture; the use of light, shadows and projections in painting; doubling, the uncanny, and reflexivity in representation.

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Research Outcomes

Outcome 1 - Jerwood Contemporary Painters
In this group exhibition I exhibited a diptych: paintings of 2 mirrors which appear to reflect one another, but do so falsely.
The paintings were intended to stage and undermine various readings of mirror imagery, and to create expectations which are subverted. The mirror imagery presented a domestic scene, as the site and motivating rationale of the Uncanny, (as developed by Freud); the subsequent manipulations of the imagery were intended to provoke sensations of both familiarity and then displacement.
I staged a photo shoot involving the use of remote flash lights in a dark room. The images, as they were taken in the dark, were random and unpredictable. Once selected, they were translated and manipulated through painting.


Outcome 2 - Les Merveilles du Monde
The painting I exhibited in this group show, one of a series featuring mirrors and mirror imagery, takes on the conundrum between the represented space within a mirror, and its surface. Within the principle mirror shown are represented a number of double reflections and indices of presence absent, such as shadows, which provide the key to the image’s origin.
These works were continued in the series also exhibited in Jerwood Contemporary Painters. They have a strong relationship to the documentary through the use of the photographic set-up as source, and involve further enquiries into the nature of the image as both found and constructed, as illusive and self reflexive.
More widely the work alludes to Modernism’s presentation of the flatness of the canvas as surface, via the physical nature of a mirror, but undermines it, through the endless relay of reflections and deferrals.


Outcome 3 - New Artists
The paintings for this group exhibition at Purdy Hicks gallery addressed an East end commodity: the wrapped bouquets of Columbia Road’s flower market. The issue was the representation of these twofold images (flowers within cellophane), technically speaking, and to find a painterly rationale for a specific and contemporary interpretation of flower painting.
Historically flower painting, in particular the Dutch tradition, has embodied various meanings, and springs from differing contexts, from the metaphorical vanitas to paintings which consciously display colonial acquisitions and horticultural expertise. Here of course the bouquets are commodities, and furthermore nature re-created as a floating signifier for social gestures and emotions, and as token in social rituals.


Outcome 4 - Euro Miss
Euro Miss was a solo exhibition held at Fordham, an artist-run gallery in Whitechapel, East London. The gallery space was a former cutting shop for the East End fashion industry, located in an area dominated by wholesale fashion merchants. I made paintings which addressed this context and site, by making photographs as source material in neighbouring wholesale fashion merchants. The paintings, of clothes on rails, swathed in plastic, resulting from the photographs, were installed in the gallery, formerly Skylark Fashions. The exhibition was an installation of paintings, which reflected issues beyond painting itself, such as the history, site and context of the gallery, as addressed by installation practice in recent years.
I developed a technique of monochrome painting which recalled the photographic colour positive, the retinal after image and the history of painting drapery. The mimimal means gave a "virtual" image, which floated on the paintings’ ground, constructing a shallow space around the object.


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