Journeys

Although the pressure started earlier for me this year, I’m beginning to feel it tightening its grip.  Determined not to let the season of summer madness get the better of me, I have declined a few possible festival workshops (usually done for love not money!) in order to keep focused on important commissions/exhibitions coming up later in the year.  However, there still seems to be a gathering list of exhibitions, and I’ve spent much of the past week either delivering/installing or collecting work!  The long journeys and physical exertion of lifting/carting work can be time-consuming, expensive and exhausting.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t say no and often, the good exhibitions are miles away.  The trick is to make the most of every journey.

Last Monday, with a bit of clever planning, I incorporated 3 appointments in one day, so that the travel to Devon was fully utilised.  With truck fully loaded, I went first to Greenway (Agatha Christie’s place – so beautiful) to discuss a possible solo exhibition there next year, which is exciting.  Agatha described it as “the loveliest place in the world”, and I can see her point.  Overlooking the river Dart and a boathouse, her georgian home is surrounded by lush planting, lichen and mossy woodland.  I was entranced!

I then went on to Cornwood to install work for the Delamore Arts exhibition (runs throughout May) – a great venue, particularly for sculpture.  And finally, a trip to a small Gallery in Exmouth (LookArt).  My dog and I enjoyed several walks that day exploring each area, so it was quite an adventure.

Whilst in Bath last week collecting flyers for the Widcombe Trail (18/19th May) and delivering work, amongst other errands I visited Bath Abbey to see the Odyssey exhibition (about journeys), including work by Tessa Farmer and Damian Hirst.  I first saw Tessa’s work at the Saatchi Gallery, but this was even better.  Her ‘Voyager’ piece contains miniscule winged skeletons spearing beetles on the back of a real swan with strange growths… incredible!

Yesterday I drove north to Showborough House, Twyning, Glos to install there.  It took up most of the day, but another great venue for sculpture I can’t resist.

Now I have a week or two to get stuck into making (hopefully in the sunshine), before the next set of installing.  For a full list of forthcoming exhibitions please see here.

Press 2013

Some articles below, related to my work:

Wire Birds Workshop, Ash Primary School – Great Crane Project

Gallery4Art at Blackmore Farm – This is Somerset

Art in the Garden, Lanhydrock – National Trust website

Lanhydrock, Cornish Guardian, April ’13

Art in the Garden, Lanhydrock – Museums in Cornwall website

Abundance Commission – SAW website

Abundance Trail  – SAW blog

SAW Abundance blog

Abundance Garden Trail – ArtsCulture

Esotera, Abundance Project – Country Living magazine

Giant Spider at Widcombe Art Trail

Spider – Bath Chronicle

Artist on a Plinth – Somerset Standard

Artist on a Plinth at Black Swan Arts

Take One Picture, National Gallery 

Evolver Prize

Brief Art 2013

Avon & Somerset Police, Respect Workshops

Bristol Post, Rubbish to Art

Burnham-on-Sea.com, Dreamscheme transforms rubbish to art

What’s On Somerset

Somerset Art Weeks ’13 by Rebecca Pow

Garden of Eden – Cultural Forum

A Garden of Abundance – Landscape Juice

Abundance Art/Garden Trail – Arts/Culture

Abundance Art/Garden Trail – Creative Somerset

Abundance Art/Garden Trail – Swindon does Arts

Somerset Art Weeks Festival ’13 – Wells Life

Somerset Life, Sept ’13

Abundance Garden Trail – The Fine Times Recorder

Garden of Eden – Somerset Guardian

Garden of Eden – Artists Newsletter

Blurred Edges – Artists Newsletter

Blurred Edges – Somerset Life

2d meets 3d – Bath Chronicle

Blurred Edges – Landscape Juice

All Hallows Chronicle ’13

SAW Rep

 

 

Chance to win one of my drawings as a signed print!

I am offering one of my drawings free as a signed giclee print (on high quality A3 or A4 card) to my Facebook Art Page fans!  If you ‘like’ my page you are in for a chance to win once I reach 200 likes.  Please visit my Facebook page, see details and click ‘like’ at the top:  Fiona Campbell Art Facebook Page.

I have opened an Etsy shop too.  Some of my prints are for sale, together with a few sculptures.  I will be adding more items to the shop over time.  Please browse, be tempted and consider a purchase: Etsy Shop

Spring

February has flown by for me, thankfully, with an intense period of making new sculpture, installations, exhibitions, commissions, teaching and workshops.  I’m very glad Spring is in the air at last!

Our Gallery4Art exhibition ‘Art at Blackmore’ ends tomorrow (Sunday) at 5pm, whilst ‘All Wired Up’ at Walford Mill started yesterday and continues until April, featuring my work.

I installed two pieces at Lanhydrock National Trust Estate, Cornwall yesterday, as part of ‘Art in the Garden’ – running until October.

Two days of wire workshops this week via Spaeda at Preston Primary School resulted in some great insect sculptures by Yr 6 pupils.  I was also really pleased that some of my students at All Hallows Prep School gained scholarships to their next schools and won awards at Black Swan Arts’ Young Open, Frome. On Monday I went on an art trip with some of these pupils to see the Rain Room and Light Show in London – two fantastic shows!

I’m very excited to have been selected for the Somerset Art Works/NGS ‘Abundance’ commission, which will entail a garden trail of sculptures by seven artists installed in various beautiful gardens in Somerset during Somerset Art Weeks later this year.  Ideas are brewing…

Next week I will be installing some work at The Magdalen Project as part of the Scraptors‘ Scraptorzoic Era. This will be the last trail for me as part of the Scraptors group, although I will of course continue individually as a scraptor – working with recycled materials, as ever.

And now it’s nearly Spring, people traditionally turn their attention to gardening and perhaps a sculpture or two…

Letting materials dictate

I’ve been having fun with a new piece.  It started as a clear idea, based on a dying spiky pod form I came across, which mesmerised me.  A familiar yet unfamiliar form.  I photographed and drew it.  Gnarled creases, mould growths and thin spikes on red skin; an hourglass shape ending in dried, dripping leaves held a history of growth and decay.  Ugly elegance.   I needed to explore this form by making it.  I gathered together a selection of my reclaimed copper and steel components, and one by one, they told me where they should go.  It’s been a collaboration between us, a journey with risks, but whether it succeeds or not, I’m enjoying myself!

I owe a huge thank you to John Shepherd Feeders in Doulting, who, over the years, have given me steel bits.  For this piece, John gave me a steel plate for the base.

When finished, the piece – which will stand tall with a large, delicate, woven wire butterfly perched on it – will be installed in Lanhydrock National Trust Estate, Cornwall from March – November.  You might like to visit it there!

 

Work currently on show

Just over a week left to visit exhibitions at Sidcot Arts Centre BS25 1PD & Ginger Fig Gallery TA1 4ER before they end on 9th Feb.  If the snow held you back, now’s a good time to catch them:

Meanwhile, I have started on new work to install at Lanhydrock National Trust Estate (1st March), completed some designs for projects and received a couple of exciting commissions to deliver this year.  One is related to Somerset Art Works and the other Private.  More news on these to follow…

 

 

Gallery4Art at Blackmore Farm and more…

I am just finishing off a Butterfly piece for the Ginger Fig Gallery’s 5th Birthday Exhibition ‘The Birds and the Bees’ starting this coming week – not enough time to make the larger piece I envisaged involving a suspended Spiky Pod, as it meant exploring a few unknowns, but will enjoy making that for another show.  I have several upcoming shows to work for, so need to keep focused.  It’s a tricky juggling act – what new work to make for which show and when, keeping to tight deadlines and managing shows that run alongside each other and back to back.

The next one is ‘Art at Blackmore’ with my group Gallery4Art, running from 23rd Feb – 3rd March.  16 of us will be showing a whole range of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery, photography, prints and more…  I hope to have some more new work by then!

See below for a more comprehensive list of forthcoming exhibitions.

 

Butterflies, bees and other bugs…

Now that most of my exhibitions are over for a while, I have a bit more time to focus on some drawings in between a couple of commissions.  After months of intensive sculpting, this is a gift – an opportunity to get new ideas rolling. Some edgy new work for gardens with a difference…  Ginger Fig Gallery has asked me to produce some work for their forthcoming ‘Birds and bees, butterflies and other bugs…’ exhibition – prompting me to visit some butterfly houses and get some inspiration.  Longleat and Cadbury Gardens are great resource centres for butterflies and cocoons, kindly giving me some dead ones for my collection.

I went to a couple of Private Views in Bath yesterday evening.  Duncan Cameron (love his work of collected creatures/bones and sketchbooks to die for – I even own a piece!) at Bo Lee Gallery and the Gillespie sisters at Beaux Arts.  I was very moved by Sarah Gillespie’s intimate charcoal and ink drawings of moths and bees… it seems many of us are on the same wavelength.

New ideas to follow..

 

Feedback from clients

I’m grateful for updates from clients who’ve bought my work and send photos of the pieces in situ.   I have an odd mix of feelings when my work is bought.  Happiness, naturally, to have sold them, but also a strange pang of loss at the time of handing over.  So much time, effort and soul goes into the work, and it’s good to know how they are faring.

Recent photos of work sold last year:

“…a photo of my wonderful dragonfly… here are some pictures, though it is very well camouflaged.  It has been a great joy.  Thank you so much”  Jane

“…a lovely pic of the heron against a menacing sky.”  Chrisi

Bumblebees III & IV are doing well in their new home – sold last year through Showborough Sculpture Garden.

I’d love to know what happened to the two pieces stolen from Dobbies entrance (Shepton Mallet) over two years ago  (Butterfly and Dragonfly).   Anybody out there seen them?  This is what they looked like:

An exciting day at Bristol’s harbour

It’s been great getting to know Bristol’s harbour – I feel quite at home there now.  Over the past couple of months, I’ve been finding my way around the harbourside as a Green Capital Artist in Residence, working occasionally at the Create Centre on a series of work for the Big Green Week (9-17th June), scouring the surrounds for retrieved bits and pieces for my sculptures, exploring new areas with my son and walking my dog there in between it all.  Saturday (9th June) was the culmination of months of preparation.  The final tweaking of my floating Diatoms in the harbour by the Arnolfini, Family Mash Up drop-in workshop at the Arnolfini, launch of our Artists in Residence Exhibition at the Create Centre, Cumberland Basin and Green Week party later in the evening, also at the harbourside.  Huge thanks to the Green Week, Create Centre, Arnolfini and Harbour teams for all their support.

Even parking was bliss!  I was allowed to park in the Harbour car park opposite the Arnolfini, normally restricted to Harbour officials, in order to unload and meet the little boat skippered by Miles from the Harbour team.  We needed to sort out 3 of my floating Diatoms – installed a few days earlier, but which had got tangled, turned uspside down or gone astray in the recent high winds.  It was the first day of Green Week and it was glorious sunshine at last!  With my son and Miles on board, we managed fairly swiftly to secure the Diatoms into position and have a little boat ride before I had to get to the Mash Up workshop I was running in the Arnolfini’s Light Room.  

I was amazed at the turnout for the workshop – a constant buzz of people actively engrossed in creating their own floating sculptures sparked off by some of my resources, various reclaimed materials I had compiled and their imagination.  There were loads of children – even some toddlers – making pieces.  Some families brought their own recycled stuff to use.  I had lovely helpers via the Arnolfini, who gave up their time voluntarily that sunny afternoon.  Looking out of the Light Room Window, we could view the Diatoms below in the harbour and relate it to the workshop theme of organic structures (and a bit of sci fi thrown in).  The results were wonderful!  (See article in Ecojam).

Across from the Light Room is the Reading Room, where my sketchbooks are currently on display, so I took a peak at them in their new special setting.

From there, all packed up, it was a neat dash to the Create Centre upstream to celebrate the opening of our Green Capital Artists in Residence Exhibition.   The overall Exhibition looks great, I think – a good mix of work by 8 artists working in very different media –  linked to eco ideas in some way.  With a couple of hours to kill before the evening doo, I wondered back down to the Arnolfini harbourside.  It was brimming with people out in the late sunshine, ballons flying above; boats and Diatoms floating in the water.  Bristol looked vibrant.   Later, we (Green Week Artists) met up at the Secret Green Pass Party at Jack’s Pavilion, Harbourside for the official Big Green Week launch.  Milo Newman, one of the Green Week Artists, was awarded a prize for his beautiful seed encrusted photographs.  I was very pleased that my work was highly commended.