Critiquing Beauty Norms Through Clay With Camille David-Boudreault

Sharing the beauty of laughter, appreciating her surroundings and critiquing eurocentric beauty norms through clay, ceramicist Camille David-Boudreault speaks on inspiration, friendship and the importance of visibility. 

In this interview, we sit down with Camille to learn how she got her start in ceramic art and what inspires her work today. 


Gabryel: How would you best describe yourself and how ceramics have shaped you? 

Camille: I would say that I’m an observant and instinctive person inspired by my surroundings. What I create depends on my emotions and the moments I observe. When I started, I was interested in art but didn’t realize I had an artist soul. Creating definitely gave me more self-esteem — I finally found something that I loved. When I create, sometimes I work in silence, working with the clay, and following where it brings me. Clay has helped me get away from stress and anxiety.

Gabryel: What first made you start creating ceramics? 

Camille: My dad used to do ceramics before I was born so we had some of his stuff at home, but I never thought about working with clay because I didn’t know much about it. In highschool we would do some workshops with wood, and I knew I really liked working with my hands. At some point there was a little voice in my head thinking about clay and wanting to try it. I decided to visit a studio and when I was there I liked the vibe and environment — it was very peaceful and relaxing. Once I started I fell in love with it. 


"I don’t always plan ahead, sometimes I start with a doodle, sometimes it's very abstract and unclear. Images and forms come to mind, I start working and it changes overtime. The end result won't always be the way I thought of it."



This is a new piece of work from Camille called Venus. "This work is a reappropriation of the classical image of beauty by sharing an absolute truth, that black is beautiful." This piece perfectly represents Camille's message, "The eurocentric view of beauty doesn’t touch different types of people and is a narrow form of beauty.”


Gabryel: Can you tell me about how your identity impacts your art and how representation influences you? 

Camille: I feel like there's not a lot of visibility of minorities, specifically in ceramics. For me, it's important to show visibility, because when I grew up everything I saw wasn’t me. It’s inspiring to see what people from the black community do. I want younger people and adults to see themselves in what I do and see themselves in art. I hope people will see my work and see how fun it is and want to try. 



Gabryel: What are some of your favourite artists that inspire you? 

Camille: Sydnie Jimenez creates statues that are interesting, inspiring and have a realistic vibe. I love the way Maryam Yousef creates figures with colour and simplicity; it’s very fun! Freya Bramble-Carter makes beautiful vases and works with her dad Chris Bramble


Gabryel: I always see beautiful photos of you enjoying time with your friends online. What role does friendship play in being creative?

Camille: In this day and age finding friendship is not always easy. I’m always interested in meeting people who have different views than me, in a way it helps me change and learn from myself. It’s nice to have a little community where we are very social. Seeing the beauty in someone you love can make you feel more beautiful in yourself and feel inspired. It inspires me to see my friends and see them happy. I love how we celebrate each other when good things happen and are there for each other. I like having communities and taking care of people other than myself.


Gabryel: You refer to your statues as “the muses”. Are your muses inspired by your friends?

Camille: When I went to Barcelona we visited the National Art Museum of Catalan, and there were paintings and sculptures by an artist named Xavier Nogués of men that were drunk. There was one sculpture of a drunk man falling with a glass of wine, and when I saw this I thought it could be interesting to create something in my own style out of this. 

A few months later I began creating the figures with clothes from Paloma Wool that I really like. What the muses are doing is inspired by my friends; going on picnics together with bread, cheese, drinks, music, and dancing. Having fun and laughing together. 


You can visit Camille's brand muraclub on Instagram here to explore her latest ceramic work.
Photography by Kareem Hammami
Conversation with Gabryel Lake