Photograph by Felipe Olivares Barreto, Galerie Pompom, Sydney
My art practice explores themes of comfort and foreboding, creating imaginary landscapes and situations that depict a sense of personal loss—of childhood innocence, freedom and wonder—while suggesting alternative worlds in which these feelings may be regained. I use material and technique to bring together conflicting elements using familiar shapes and the smooth rendering of charcoal on paper and felt. In my works, the textured paper and raw felt work in conjunction to offer a tactile experience related to the proximal relationship with the doudou (meaning comfort-object in French).
Doudou is a common French slang word and is the repetition of the word ‘doux’ meaning ‘soft’. The repetition makes it sound like a word invented by a child and sets the scene for my argument of tactility – ‘haptic looking’.
I believe adulthood is an artificial construct, the purpose of which is to enable us to survive in a harsh environment. It is a necessity that requires sacrifice and the gradual surrender of the child we were born as. The doudou can be understood as a kind of portal, opening up possibilities for creative exploration, rather than existing as a mere artefact of childhood.
Camille Gillybœuf was born in Talence, France in 1995 and, since 2013, lives in Sydney, Australia. She is an emerging visual artist who recently finished her Master of Fine Art majoring in Drawing at the National Art School (Sydney). She also holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Fine Arts) from Federation University Australia (Victoria).
She is the winner of the 2022 Waverley Art Prize People’s Choice Award with her charcoal self-portrait For Myself and was also selected for the Tony White Memorial Art Prize as part of the 2020 Kangaroo Valley Art Prize, Fisher’s Ghost Art Award (2017), The Shirl National Youth Portrait Prize (2017), Mosman Youth Art Prize (2016), Blacktown City Art Prize (2016). Gillybœuf was awarded two years in a row the Marjory Baker Memorial Youth Award (ADFAS Camden) in 2016 and 2017.
In 2021, her charcoal drawing Cyprès was acquired for the National Art School Collection, Sydney.