Camille M. Boggs

Wonderland: Of Two Minds, 2009
Hand cut paper marionette (red head conjoined twins); sewn and ripped fabric; graphite, ink, and pastel on wood (tree, rattle, and crow); embroidery; paper scroll with black text (“They were standing under a tree, each with an arm around the other’s neck…They stood so still that she quite forgot they were alive…”); all in a wood shadow box, 16.75 x 11.375 x 3.5 inches. $900
Wonderland: Should Have Known Better, 2009
Hand cut paper marionette (brunette with broken hand & hammer); fabric; egg shells; graphite, ink, and pastel on wood (stone wall); paper scroll with black text (“Why do you sit out here all alone?…because there’s nobody with me!…if I did fall…the king has promised me – with his very own mouth…”); all in a wood shadow box, 16.75 x 11.375 x 3.5 inches. $900

Statement

Who has the power, the marionette or the manipulator?

Throughout history, marionettes have been used to say and perform acts that humans could not due to laws, propriety, and fear. My marionettes are stronger than I feel. Each one, though captured by her strings, rules her domain. Without fear of exposure, embarrassment, or condemnation she tells the story she has been given. The literal translation of marionette is “little Mary” named for the Virgin Mary puppets used in churches during the Middle Ages. Just as their namesake, my “little Marys” are chosen by me, their creator, to immaculately conceive an idea that has the potential to change perspectives.

Statement about Medium (hand cut paper) and the Wonderland Series

Cut paper is believed to have originated in China not long after the invention of paper itself. Although my medium is Eastern in tradition, my aesthetic approach is more Western. The Wonderland series is influenced most by my love of children’s literature, specifically Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. The stories we grow up with can and will influence our choices later in life. I plan on continuing this series as each of the characters manifests itself in me. I am surprised every time I reread a childhood favorite and feel different toward some characters. I find myself identifying with a character I remember not understanding or possibly not liking as a child. I am exploring my adult life and emotions through the looking glass.

Biography

I was born in New Orleans and named after a hurricane. Growing up on the coast, hurricanes were just a part of life. After graduating from college, I moved back to the coast. A year later, Katrina came. Everything was gone; home, art, supplies, photographs, childhood memories, and most of the places associated with those memories. An artist with no portfolio has no proof they ever created. It took a long time before I had the strength to create anything.

I was soon drawing again.

I am always searching for that perfect medium. I believe paper is that medium. I discovered papermaking in college and immediately fell in love. After college, I had to say goodbye to the papermaking studio I had grown to cherish and began making art using every other medium I had learned. Nothing felt as powerful as the pulp floating around my hands as I pulled the mould and deckle past the water’s surface to form…Perfection. My need to be with paper became evident, though I no longer had the facilities needed to make paper. I began cutting paper. The #11 x-acto blade has become an extension of my hand and with it I feel right using paper again.

My inspiration comes from anywhere, but a great deal comes from youth. Stories, games, beliefs, and memories of a childhood that disappeared too soon. My art tells a story. Each piece is a fairy tale. There are things to be learned, fun to be had, fears to be discovered, hope to be found, and each person will walk away with their own interpretation.

While attending Memphis College of art, I had the opportunity to study in Italy. I lived and studied predominately in Cortona; however we traveled a great deal and visited places including Rome, Venice, Florence, Sienna, and many other amazing towns. There I studied life (along with printmaking, painting, ceramics, and art history). In 2004 I graduated from Memphis College of Art Summa Cum Laude with a Papermaking/Book Arts & Sculpture emphasis and Art History Minor. My art has been seen in California, New York, Italy, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and Arkansas.