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Brush strokes are like nerve endings, they reveal something that is within the painter… and that is the humanity in art

In this episode of Cultural Icons, Denys Trussell speaks to artist and political activist Miriam Cameron about the many philosophies, people, and images that have surrounded her life and eventually influenced her work.

We take a glimpse into her formative years as a regular visitor to the Onehunga Public Library with her father – a looming presence throughout Cameron’s life- and her mother’s fascination with classical Chinese painting.

This duality of words and images have accompanied Cameron throughout her career and have helped her construct theoretical foundations to her painterly work and use her visual abilities for the sake of political activism.

She speaks with an approachable mix of philosophy and anecdote that stretches from the influence of a small Maori flute in her decision to become a painter, through to Scottish mathematical physicist James Maxwell. She delves into the plight of the Scottish diaspora, the benefits and challenges of commune living, and even some mentions of her involvement with street theatre and feminism.

“If there ever was a time for artists to pick up their paint brushes and use them like swords… it is now” Miriam Cameron

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