2020 is on its way out of our collective memory, though not without fully overhauling life as we’ve known it. At The CAMP, we kicked the year off by starting from scratch, adding new and wildly talented artists to our darling roster (i.e., making loads of new friends), partnering with FAMA for a 40-artist exhibition, leaving our Little River home and setting up shop in North Miami, and even the launch of a brand-new virtual gallery with the help of Emperia, UK.
Which made us curious—how has the unruly intensity of the new decade impacted those we work closest with?
In the spirit of growth and community, we bring you The CAMP’s 2020 Roundup, a small interview series featuring reflections from our CAMP and CAMP Spotlight artists.
Leslie Sheryll. Ester, 2019. Photography on archival digital print. 24 x 16.5 in.[/caption]
CAMP Spotlight artist Leslie Sheryll’s artworks begin with scans of vintage 19th century tintypes, an ancestor of instant photography, and a story. The narratives she creates for each piece are woven into a body of work that explores female identity in a society that has long centered maleness, incorporating and rejecting, in tandem, the historical notions gender roles while infusing symbolism, fantasy, and personal experience into her pieces. Sheryll even names the women she makes focal points, combating the depersonalizing and commodifying of women: “I believe this gives each one a personal identity, something women did not have during their lifetime when they were considered to be the property of their husbands. If I use a woman in multiple series her name always remains the same.”
"The biggest obstacle since COVID is the feeling of isolation. I rarely see my friends, I cannot go and see art, no more openings. Going to museums and galleries was something I did constantly. I was also involved with an artist group in my city, which is not an in-person experience any longer. I have grown weary of zoom and only participate in my almost weekly meeting with four good friends. Everyone has been affected in different ways... I do fear the effects this lockdown has had on the art market. Everyone has had to find a new way to survive."
Leslie Sheryll. Hannah, 2015. Photography on archival digital print. 24 x 16.5 in.
"As for my art, I have been influenced by both COVID and the political situation we are facing. In March I began two series that directly deal with the feeling of isolation. Alone In The Time Of COVID-19, is a series of black and white film noir-ish vignettes of a small wooden man (a child’s toy) shot in miniature houses. The mood is one of loneliness, fear, and desperation. My second series; Home-Alone began just before COVID. I had been shooting homes around Jersey City that had seen better times. Some were old Victorian homes that were now unrecognizable because of inexpensive repairs to facades. I did not have a cohesive plan for the project which eventually morphed into what it has become, a series of homes that are isolated from one another. In essence, COVID brought my idea into something relevant to what is going on now. This series differs from Alone In The Time Of COVID in that color is now the isolating factor. I am happy to have been asked to exhibit this series in the spring of 2021. Politically, I am working on three new series that affect the lives of women (the theme in most of my work). All are a response to the conservative views of the Supreme Court.
"My studio is in my home, so COVID has not changed my working situation except in that I cannot 'get away' for a breather. During the summer my garden was my oasis, but now as it gets colder I am inside more... As far as New Years Resolutions, I don’t do them."
Leslie Sheryll. Clara, 2014. Photography on archival digital print. 19 x 16.5 in.