Rita Bozi and Ken Cameron’s Brain-Changing Studio
Two local creators reveal why their basement is their favourite room in Calgary.
Photography by Jared Sych
The transformation of Rita Bozi and Ken Cameron’s basement into a bright and airy studio space began with mould. As self-employed artists, Bozi, a therapist, writer and performer, and her husband, playwright, theatre artist and corporate consultant Ken Cameron, are constantly creating – often from home. To serve their needs, almost every room in their Ramsay heritage home had been renovated, except the basement. It was functional, but, after a few particularly rainy summers, mould crept in.
With the help of renovator Rob Lahache, the basement was stripped to the studs.The carpet was replaced with fire-engine red concrete, walls covered in American clay, ceiling panels removed and the exposed beams painted white. Today, it’s a bright, multi-functional studio that serves as a writing room and has hosted rehearsals for literary readings, play performances, production meetings and more.
Ritz Bozi shares three features that the couple love about this room.
“The desk is made from an antique door from Ken’s grandmother’s house in Dutton, Ont. The contractor made this table, he added this glass top, and I said I wanted industrial-looking legs on it and casters. I really love the combination of modern with antique. I love that this desk is like a big work table, so there’s a sense of grabbing whatever I need when I need it.”
“Almost everything is on casters, so all the furniture is movable. You know how they say when you want to exercise your brain, take a different route? It’s the same thing; if you want to exercise your brain, move things around. As writers, we have to be able to see things from different perspectives. As soon as you move something around in your space, you’re training your brain to do that. We shift the space around every two weeks.”
“The art down here is inspiring. We have our black-and-white photo gallery on our coloured wall. The photo gallery includes images by Francis Wiley, Anne Grant and two photos by photographer Robert Kalman, including his shot of famous Hungarian pianist Adam Fellegi. In the photo, his front door actually faces our apartment in Budapest. Robert rented our apartment and we struck up a friendship. He took this shot of Adam, sent it to us and we had it framed.”