Camilla Quinn Oldenkamp

I seek to make art that powers a mutual understanding and acceptance of our world’s religious differences. Without acceptance and understanding comes fear. Fear of our religious differences creates international wars, sectarian violence, and hatred within our own communities. Originally from a strict religious community, I was later introduced to other faiths and denominations. I became fascinated by the historical unity among these myths, historic faiths, and contemporary religions, developing a desire to represent the complex subject of religion, spirituality, and myth in my art.

I surround my audience with works of art influenced by the iconography and social constructs that embody religion. I use symbols such as the mandala. Originally a Hindu and Buddhist geometric figure representing the universe, the mandala is now an element common in many religions. I use materials such as imitation and 24 karat gold leaf. Gold has taken over my works both as a densely covered surface and in delicate mosque-inspired aniconic geometric and vegetative motifs; the sacred purity of 24 carat gold leaf and sacrilege imitation gold leaf existing side-by-side, unable to determine the imposter. I have represented the dominance of the sun through my creation of a circular light structure hanging from above emitting an intense heat and aggressive brilliance. Shared stories inspire me. A large, bold text installation shed light on the prominence of flood stories amongst cultures through the ages. When we can find common themes like these crossing lines between beliefs, we can begin to accept how closely linked we are and that no religion is too different from others. In every installation, I take the next step in this experimentation and continue to bridge the gap between these cultural misunderstandings.

Camilla Quinn Oldenkamp received her BFA in Photography from Ball State University and her MFA in Studio Art from UNLV, where she is currently completing a second Masters degree in Special Education. Her installation, Be Mad at the Sun for Setting, opens at the Rotunda Gallery in Las Vegas in 2018.