Sankta Barbara is a video work created in 2004 by Camille in collaboration with composer Paulo C. Chagas. The piece was created in Göttelborn Germany at Interaktions-Labor, a residency in an abandoned coal-mine. The artists respond to the mine by evoking the presence of Sankta Barbara, the patron saint of mining and Shango, the Yoruba god of thunder to pay homage to the workers that once performed unseen and essential labour in the mine. A poem reflecting on the work of Camille’s boilermaker father acts as the lyrical backdrop of the piece.
“When I first arrived at the mine, I found the idea of working with the space overwhelming. How could I ever relate to this mysterious place? I was caught off guard by its enormity, the wide open spaces, and myriad textures and shapes of hulking rusting machines. The filtered light that poured in through mottled windows made the space feel like a sanctuary so I used it as a point of departure to create a meditation on the unseen and unacknowledged yet essential work performed by labourers.”