I recently got to sit down with one of Toronto’s greatest hidden gems, Mr. Camal Pirbhai. Starting his career in Europe and bringing his passion for couture design here to Toronto. Camal recently did a piece for the Interior Design Show 2013. Looking at this art piece through pictures, I must say doesn't do it justice. I was really lucky to be one of the people to view this piece in person. At first sight I was shocked by the visual and yet I felt myself wanting more.
Camal is a super busy man and so I had to get in, ask my questions and hope for the best.
The detail on this doesn't come through on a picture. It was incredible to see in person.
Camille Turner famous Canadian artist lending a hand on the piece.
Camal is a perfectionist and it shows in all he does.
What inspired you for this project?
My muse is my daughter but I wanted a more mature piece. The theme is about the intangible things we inherit that influence how we interpret our experiences. I just wanted to create a piece that played on that theme.
I absolutely love the detailing of the fabric.
How did you choose the right materials for this project?
When I approach a project I am like a cook in a kitchen with many spices in a cupboard. I just use what I want without overdoing it. I have to be sensitive and use the right tools to express my thoughts.
To someone without the mind of an artist, they may look at this and ask why some sections are designed with beading and others have been left clear. Can you explain why it was set up this way?
There are two panels with the same free hand design, but each side has been interpreted differently. The right side is more of a classic feel, more traditional hence the materials I used. It is also more conformed to be organic. The left side however, is more of a digital effect. There are clusters of metal and glass to create that three dimensional effect. Everything is connected and aliened by a metal wire on purpose.
The lighting is perfect and seems to really bring an incredible element to the piece. Was this done on purpose?
Absolutely. The lights are programmed in a “pulse” like motion. It makes the audience think that it’s alive and breathing. It’s all sewn into the material; it glows from the outside of the fabric. The irony with this element is that it’s the only part that is not a natural. It feels alive, but it’s not.
I've noticed with this piece and others you've created in the past; that you tend to use softer tones, more neutral colours. Is there a reason for this?
People are not generally used to looking at details. Since my work is all about the detailing, I would be concerned with using colour as it may distract people from what I am trying to get across. I've created a piece here that with detail alone is saying so much. Adding colour may have confused it.
It is pretty clear to the “on- looker” that this piece has a religious feel to it. With religion being such a touchy subject for many, did you feel at all concerned with having an African American pope?
People were mesmerized for days and lining up the entire show.
Camal hard at work to get things just right before the show.
People tend to have pre-conceived notions on everything. I enjoy playing with those ideas. I strive to challenge people and their imaginations. Iconic images that allow people to think when they are being altered. Some individuals were offended while others laughed. At the end of the day my goal is to get the audience to have an emotional reaction.
With that, Camal then had to go. We didn't get to speak long and there sure were many other questions I had for him. But, I will be following him on his next adventure and hopefully will get more answers into the great mind of artist and professional Camal Pirbhai.