Something or someone’s immortalization in a portrait is a testament to that individual or thing’s value and beauty. Down through the years people, some rich, some poor, and some of little consequence in the world’s view, have been captured in portraits. The artists that chose to portray these individuals have each seen something wonderful in their muses, something so worthy of attention that they wanted others to see it too. This is how portraitist Camille Seaman feels about her subjects: icebergs.
For eight years, Camille Seaman depicted icebergs in portraits. She first saw an iceberg on the Weddell Sea on a trip to Alaska. The sight of the iceberg shook Camille to her core and reminded her of her humanity and frailty. It also made Seaman desire to depict these mammoths in her own personal artwork and display them for all to see.
Photographing icebergs has become somewhat of a love affair for Camille Seaman. She doesn’t merely view icebergs as huge hunks of ice, as some do, but rather as living, breathing personalities. Seaman is blessed not to perceive things the way the average person does, or even the typical artist. Rather, she sees the way her grandfather instructed her to.
When Camille Seaman was a child, her grandfather taught her to view nature in a way that was consistent with her tribal heritage. He encouraged her to see the soul of an inanimate object. For example, he taught her to study a tree until it became as familiar to her as a “relative.” Ms. Seaman’s grandfather is partially responsible for her sensitive approach to her artistry and her depiction of icebergs.
Part of an artist’s job is to give people “new eyes” with which to see something. Giving others this gift enables them to venture beyond their own perceptions and journey into new possibilities of truth. An artist can give someone new eyes by presenting a subject in a fresh way. This is what Camille Seaman has done with icebergs, portraying them in such a manner as to give voice to their true personalities. This has helped many individuals see the true beauty and majesty that icebergs possess.
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