Camille Dela Rosa, Visual Artist
  Ladies Who Launch Their Visions  
  by Alfred A. Yuson (KRIPOTKIN)  
  The Philippine Star  
  December 14, 2009  

Camille dela Rosa, daughter of my 1970s buddy Ibarra dela Rosa, had her 16th solo show at Artis Corpus Gallery on Lawson St. in Mandaluyong. The city mayor, Ben Abalos Jr., almost as young as the artist who's only approaching her mid-20s, was the guest of honor at the opening on Dec. 5.

Despite a full Sabado-night sked to start the Yuletide sosyalan whirl, I couldn't miss out on Camille's big night. It was particularly rewarding since for this thematic show billed as "Aenigma," the artist embarked on an entirely fresh range of concerns, namely surrealistic. Previously associated with near-saccharine stuff such as garden landscapes and old churches, Camille has boldly broken new ground in her continuing evolution as a technically adroit painter. In fact, as I kidded her, she may have gone overboard in her liberating leap towards surrealism. Or is it across?

Her large works are replete with proto-human skulls and skeletons - in anatomical veracity of detail, thence overlaid with various symbolic images and leitmotifs such as nude female figures, foetuses, throbbing hearts, faces ghoulish and realistic, probosces, mouths and eyeballs - in brief an assortment of possibly metaphorical items reflecting narrative potential.

As her show brochure states, "Camille has come of age, shedding superficialities, literarily, figuratively, and most importantly, aesthetically. Here is a visual artist surfacing entirely from her own self-made shell, with her own artistic statement. 'Aenigma' is occult. 'Aenigma' is mystery. Camille treads the unknown and revels in its secrets."

Last Monday, Camille received word of her selection as one of the 10 finalists for the National Capital Region in the Philippine Art Awards (Philip Morris) contest. Her winning work was "Those Who Have Ears Listen" - a six-by-six-feet painting exhibited at the Manila Art Fair a few months ago. The finalists

for NCR and Luzon were feted at the National Museum, where their chosen works are currently on show. These will compete with the 10 finalists each for Visayas and Mindanao, with one major winner named (inclusive of sculpture) after the next round of judging in June 2010.
For now, ably guided and supported as she is by her doting mom Ethel, Camille listens to inner recordings and bravely documents a phantasmagoric new world fairly reeking of enigmatic daemons. I continue to be fascinated by this dear young lady's passage, and ascent, through the echelons of the infinitely challenging matrix of visual arts.

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