Over The Hill
The artworks of Camilla Marie Dahl that feature in ‘Over The Hill’ meditate upon the human condition. Both the paintings and sculptures exhibited pose philosophical questions about the essentials of anthropological existence and one’s position of being in the world. Striking is the immediate evocation of nostalgia in Dahl’s paintings, which is followed by disclosures of delicate nuance. One is confronted with dualisms of expectance yet reminiscence, and aspiration versus mortality.
The exhibition includes a painting, also titled ‘Over The Hill,’ which depicts four hay bales that descend in size as they approach the horizon and gain distance. The at once decipherable perspective blurs as one spends time observing the painting, and follows the uneven terrain towards the distant hills. These hills are a known characteristic of rural Cornwall, Connecticut: the place where Dahl spent her childhood years. The artist works initially from photographic imagery, yet tends to follow her intuition once the paintings are established. One would expect that with her gestural instincts and use of memory come the painterly haze and yearning grains.
Whilst the tone of the body of work may read as melancholic, maintained is a desperate hope and optimism. The titular phrase also seems to imply that there is a summit to be reached, atop the aforementioned hill. Dahl writes, “Perhaps it’s merely delusion, or a constructed fantasy, but here, we willingly forfeit ourselves to the hopes, dreams, and promises of the future.” Such is a reminder of the over-arching themes in Dahl’s artwork: humility, isolation and the passage of time. The corresponding rhythm of the paintings and sculptures in this exhibition, draw comparison to the modest rise and fall of a hill. This recurring motif stands in as a metaphor for the cyclicality of life, a potent symbol of mortality.