Camila Aguais: Explore the Senses

Camila Aguais: Explore the Senses
Photo Credit: Camila Aguias

By: Kasia Alexiou

Meet Camila Aguais, a rising artist based in Surrey, UK. With a captivating blend of geometry, movement, and the human body, Camila’s artistry knows no bounds. Influenced by her passion for dance, she infuses her sculptures with a dynamic energy that resonates with rhythm.

Using geometric shapes and meticulous composition, Camila crafts a unique visual language that sparks a dialogue between forms, colors, and the captivating negative spaces. Her artworks invite viewers to actively engage, connecting with the expressive and enigmatic nature of her steel sculptures. 

Camila’s artistic journeyis one of continuous transformation, as she masterfully transforms steel into captivating works of art. 

Kasia: What is the role of the body in your practice?

Camila: As a process-oriented artist, my sculptures bear the imprint of my physical existence. The movements, sensations, and emotions experienced during the creation process find their way into the final artwork.

The relationship between the body and my sculptures exists in a fluid and ever-evolving manner. It is not confined to defined shapes or explicit representations, but rather, it takes on an open-ended and ambiguous form. This connection is deeply intertwined with the process of creating art itself.

Kasia: You add words and language to your work. How do they connect with the body and your sculptures? Can we call your performance a verbal action in space?

Camila: Absolutely! Words truly hold a special place in my creative process. When it comes to the books I create, I carefully choose words that are deeply connected to movement. Many of these words come from the beautiful language of dance or other activities that engage and guide the body. For instance, one of my books begins with the captivating line, “Gather the edges.” It’s through these carefully selected verbs that I aim to spark action and evoke genuine emotions in those who experience my art.

When I sculpt, the physicality and fluidity of my movements, along with the materials I choose, shape the final artwork. The sculptures often mirror the human body, creating a connection between shape, texture, and our own physicality.

Camila Aguais: Explore the Senses

Photo Credit: Camila Aguias

Kasia: Do you mean the body as a tool?

Camila: Yes, exactly. My body becomes the very material I work with, allowing me to shape and mold the sculptures. It’s a deeply personal and hands-on experience where I bring each form to life using my own physicality. Whether it’s a gentle curve or a bold line, I use my body as a medium through which these physical forms come to fruition.

Kasia: If we focus on the sculptures alone, are they related to movement because of their shape? Are they like humans, or is this something completely abstract?

Camila: The sculptures I create hold a captivating essence that blurs the line between the human form and abstract art. They aren’t exact replicas of humans, but they definitely carry a sense of bodily presence and movement. While some of my works may bear a resemblance to standing figures, others convey aspects of leaning, sagging, stepping, or perching—evoking a sense of implied motion.

The intention behind my work is to explore this delicate balance between suggesting movement and the body itself, allowing viewers to interpret and engage with the art through their own unique perspectives.

Kasia: As a viewer, I interpret your sculptures as dancing people due to their dynamic forms. It looks like a modern sculpture dance. The colors in your sculptures create a kind of sequence in space. How are the colors related to dancing in your work?

Camila: The colors in my sculptures are akin to the movements of dancers within a choreographed piece. Just as individual dancers may perform similar or contrasting movements, the arrangement and choreography of colors in my work hold significant meaning. Colors interact, communicate, and engage in dialogue with one another.

For instance, I may have a composition with subtle greys and blues, creating a serene and contemplative atmosphere. Then, suddenly, a thin strip of bright vermilion red emerges, drawing attention and standing out amidst the softer tones. This vivid burst of color serves as a focal point, creating a dynamic visual impact within the sculpture.

In this way, the colors in my sculptures don’t merely exist as individual elements but rather as active participants in a lively conversation. 

Kasia: How important are light and space in this context?

Camila: Light and space play a crucial role in how you perceive moving bodies, dancers, colors, and forms. They affect how you interpret and read them.

Kasia: Can we say that your works incorporate both stillness and movement?

Camila: My sculptures incorporate both stillness and movement. On the surface, you can see visible brushstrokes that give a sense of fluidity and motion. At the same time, there are areas of solid color that bring a sense of calmness and stability. It’s this beautiful interplay between movement and stillness that gives my sculptures a dynamic and captivating presence.

Camila Aguais: Explore the Senses

Photo Credit: Camila Aguias

Kasia: How do you envision the future of your sculpture when incorporating elements such as the body, dance, movements, and words? Do you plan to continue working with metal?

Camila: You know what? The future of my sculptures is an exciting mystery to me. As I delve into the realms of the body, dance, movements, and words, I can’t predict exactly where my artistic journey will take me. And that’s the beauty of it all—the element of surprise and the thrill of the unknown fuels my creativity.

Exploring the realms of the body, dance, and movements is relatively new territory for me, but it’s a source of endless wonder and inspiration. It’s like discovering a whole new world within my artistic practice, and I can’t wait to see where it leads.

When it comes to materials, I’m keeping my options wide open. I’m immersed in the exploration of combining drawing, using bold black lines, and incorporating expressive words in books. It’s a fascinating process. Lately, I’ve been working with A3 formats, exploring different ways to fold them and uncovering a whole new world of creative potential. These experiments have already presented me with a plethora of possibilities.

Honestly, I could lose myself in this journey for years to come. It’s an ongoing adventure, an exploration of the unknown. And who knows where it will lead? 

Camila Aguais: Explore the Senses

Photo Credit: Camila Aguias

Kasia: How is the arrangement of the space related to the work?

Camila: Oh, the arrangement of the space is absolutely integral to the work itself! When I move around the sculptures, capturing them from different angles, I also create specific elements that relate to the surrounding environment. I often take pieces of cardboard from the walls and ceiling and scatter them throughout the room, adding an extra touch of context and visual intrigue. Sometimes, I play around with the layout of the room, dividing it diagonally or creating obstacles that force viewers to interact with the sculptures in a more physical way. 

This intentional arrangement really deepens the connection between the viewer, the sculptures, and the space itself. 

Kasia: I can see that all your sculptures have an open composition, and even individual structures are strongly related to space. I suppose it must be related to dancing.

Camila: When you dance, you’re thinking a lot about all parts of the body, but you’re particularly focused on your arms and legs. So, this idea of limbs and the simple act of raising your hand, for example, has so many possibilities, right? Or if I could position it front or side in terms of taking up space or relating to the space around it. So, that’s something I’m always thinking about in dance: negative space within the body.

Kasia: What exactly is the positive and negative space in sculpture?

Camila: Positive and negative space in sculpture is like a dance between the physical elements and the empty spaces surrounding them. The positive space is the actual sculptural forms, the tangible parts that take up space. On the other hand, the negative space is the empty areas in between and around those forms. 

Think of it as a push and pull, where the solid forms and the empty spaces interact and influence each other. 

But here’s the interesting part – positive and negative spaces aren’t just confined to sculpture. You can find them in other art forms, too, like photography. In a photograph, the main subject or well-lit areas would be the positive space, while the areas of shadow or the empty spaces would be the negative space. 

Kasia: What do negative and positive spaces mean for you? What does it mean exactly in your work?

Camila: For me, negative and positive space hold significant meaning. They allow me to fully consider and explore the concept of space itself, encompassing both the space that is taken up and the space that is left empty. This concept resonates deeply with my work, especially in relation to dance. 

To give you an example, prior to working with sculpture, I was engaged in printmaking and collage on a smaller scale. I found great joy in working within a square format, as it provided a defined space for me to intervene and create. Even within this simple framework, the concept of negative and positive space became apparent. By adding various shapes, shading, or colors, I could completely alter the reading of that space. 

Every decision I made, no matter how small, had a profound impact on the overall composition. I have been exploring these concepts for years, experimenting with collage, paper, and color to express the interplay between negative and positive space. Currently, I am using pen and pencil in my work, but incorporating color would undoubtedly offer another layer of complexity and a unique visual experience.

Kasia: I suppose it’s all about composition. When I observe your sculptures, I feel a strong foundation in the theory of constructivism and geometrical narratives. You establish certain rules and boundaries. I believe it’s your individual language, and you have the ability to explain it simply to viewers.

Camila: Some people look at my work and describe it as precise and strict with a sort of rules. I do have some rules for myself, but the way I personally view it is that I love geometric shapes like rectangles, circles, and squares.

Because I think there’s something beautiful, enigmatic, and ambiguous about their forms. And for me, using them as a visual language, I like the idea of simplicity. But if you really focus and work on it repeatedly, it can offer so much.

Kasia: Personally, I think that geometry in art is like a never-ending story. You can endlessly research it. How does geometry relate to the body in your artwork?

Camila: To me, incorporating geometry into my artwork is like embarking on an ever-unfolding journey. It’s a way for me to intimately explore and appreciate space. And you know what? That exploration of space is deeply connected to the movement within the human body.

At first, it may seem like geometry and the body don’t naturally mesh together. But as I create my art, a beautiful harmony emerges. I find myself constantly considering how I divide the space, whether it’s through lines, colors, or divisions. 

Each decision I make has a profound impact on the entire composition, almost like a choreographer shaping a dance. They start to interact. They truly talk to each other, they converse…

Published by: Martin De Juan

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