The Father-Daughter Pair With A Spectacular Eye For Art & Fashion At Home With Their Pets.
By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
Along our mission to tell the stories of unique and interesting modern pet owners we’ve had the pleasure of touring many incredible homes, condos, and offices. Meeting Camille and David, the father-daughter pair with a deep appreciation for fashion and art, was truly spectacular. With David’s gallery-worthy collection (over 20 years in the making) and Camille’s curated vintage wardrobe, this duo was an absolute delight to photograph. Their Rosedale home is also filled with the love of their pets, which play a crucial role in their family life. Read below as we get to know these collectors and the bond they share with their animals.
Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical day is like:
Camille: I am an archaeologist. I graduated from the University of Toronto in December and will be starting my Master of Arts in Religion at Yale Divinity School this fall. I spend anywhere from two to four months abroad during the summer working on archaeological excavations in the Middle East. I have just returned from a four-month stint in Georgia. There, I work with the Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project (GRAPE) as their community engagement coordinator. My job, besides helping the project to excavate the earliest evidence of wine production in the world, is to build meaningful relationships between the excavations at Gadachrili Gora, our sister site Shulaveris and the local Marneuli community. I also generate enthusiasm and support for the excavation from the Georgian people and international community.
The other eight months a year I can be found at my dining room table surrounded by hoards of books, my laptop and Olive (who sits on my lap as I write). This fall I start my Master of Arts in Religion at Yale Divinity School with a concentration in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. My research will focus on how religiosity informs the body and how both textual sources and material culture enact the sacred body within late antique Christian monastic and ascetic communities.
Please tell us a bit about your pets. How did they come into your life? Is there a story behind the name or particular breed?
Well, Persian, our cat, was my first pet. He came into my life when I was six. He had been abandoned by his previous owners and would frequently wander into our backyard. He was emaciated and very scared so I started feeding him when my parents were not looking. I was a vegetarian at the time so I fed him a lot of tofu hotdogs. I told my babysitter that this was our cat and brought him inside. When my parents got home the sitter told them, “Camille is upstairs with the cat,” and both my parents said, “but we don’t have a cat.” Needless to say, my Mom went out and bought a litter box for the cat the next day.
Carlos, our other cat is a similar story. He was a feral kitten that jumped out of the woods at our cottage one night. He’s been our cat ever since.
Olive is my dog. I got her in July of 2013. She is the absolute love of my life. I got her after a difficult six months and she totally turned my life around for the better. She is an unbelievably loving and affectionate dog. When I first got her she was 1.5lbs. I couldn’t leave her at home because I was afraid she would get lost or injured so I took her everywhere. Our first month was spent sipping lattes on patios across Toronto. She would come to the office with me, the library, almost everywhere. She sleeps in bed with me, under the covers with her head on the pillow. We have a hashtag for her: #dailyolive. She is an absolute princess. So many people tell me I spoil my dog, but honestly she deserves it.
Jarvis, is our 6th mastiff and is so loving and kind, like all mastiffs we have had. Every morning he rubs noses with Carlos the cat…they are brothers from another mother. With the death of my last bull mastiff, Otis, which numerous artists have painted images of, I immediately went to the breeders for another dog. I couldn’t imagine my life without a bull mastiff in it.
Please tell us a bit about your art collection and some of your favorite pieces:
David: I’ve been collecting for over 20 years. Some of my favorite artists include Joseph Cornell, Fred Tomaselli, Mark Ryden, Spring Hurlbut and Arnaud Maggs. For me, with collecting, I buy only to keep, not to later sell (but at times to donate to museums.) Each piece reflects a story I wish to tell about living and the world we live in. I have some very important and meaningful tribal artifacts that I showcase out of love and memory for my favorite collector and deceased friend, Bill Jamieson.
How would you describe your personal style?
David: Very relaxed and inclusive. I’m interested in things with strong social conscious that bring emotional connections.
Bohemian with a global and vintage flare. I travel a lot and I tend to collect pieces during my travels that I think are very interesting or unusual. For instance, the black earrings I’m wearing were picked up during my latest stint in Italy, from a flea market in Tuscany. The 1960s lounging dress I have on was picked up at a vintage market in North Carolina when I was there in the spring presenting a paper.
When I am in the field or traveling my style is very different than when I am in the city. When I am abroad I think the bohemian vibes in my style really come through a bit more. But when I am in Toronto I try and pull my look together a little more. I might swap a flowy skirt for a pair of culottes.
My Mom and Dad both have a bit of an edgy and unique personal style and I think by way of osmosis that has definitely rubbed off on me. I don’t subscribe to the same “quintessential Toronto” uniform my friends stick to. I like to be colorful and I like to be different.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
David: Surrounded by positive energy and people.
Camille: Surrounded by friends and my animals. I have a very close circle of friends. I try and have people over for a home-cooked meal and drinks as often as I can. I am a huge foodie so nothing brings me more joy than cooking for the people I love. If I am in the city, I love strolling through Kensington with Olive and digging through the vintage stores. During the summer nothing is better to me than packing the car full of some really great cocktail ingredients, my dog, and a good friend and heading to the cottage, lying on the beach with a good book and an epic drink.
What inspires you?
Camille: Art, people’s stories, and interesting places.
David: Truth and hope.
Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about your pets?
Camille: There are so many. As a puppy, Olive used to take the roll of toilet paper, unroll it as she ran through the house and only when it was FULLY unrolled, would she go back and chew it to bits.
Follow Camille on Instagram @camillegraceangelo
For more information on Camille’s work through the University of Toronto, read her interview here.