Instead of a Cross, an Albatross

I am relieved that the research-based module 4 of my MA is now over.   I read alot of books – ‘Materiality: Documents of Contemporay Art’ is a brilliant eye-opener to concepts on matter and process.  I now have a fairly clear run until September to work through ideas and create for my final MA show.  I have been working outside for the first time since last summer in the February sunshine. Though cold, it has been wonderful to spread out and get on with new work.

I have become fixated by the plight of sea creatures, dying in large numbers from trash heap gyres in our oceans. I am particularly disturbed by images of Albatross chicks taken by Chris Jordan, a photography initiative at Midway, USA. Their stomachs get bloated full of plastic objects – sharp shards, lighters and bottle tops, fed by their parents mistaking the floating objects for morsels of fish. Their insides reveal a microscopic view of our trash.  My new piece is a response to this terrible reality, to be shown in a residency at Walcot Chapel, Bath, later this month (12-18 Feb).  I am linking the myth of the albatross in Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner (‘instead of a cross, the albatross’) with ideas of the crucifixion, using found objects including old steel nails, rope and plastic.

I had to make a 2 minute video of an artist between 1900-49 to present as part of Dexter Dalwood seminars at Bath Spa Uni.  I decided to make one about Graham Sutherland’s Green Tree Form: Interior of Woods.  For a first film, it turned out ok, thanks to my son Jack for his technical help putting it together.  Sutherland’s thorn series brought to mind the association of nails/thorns with the crucifixion for my new piece.

A couple of my pieces (below) will be shown at the Elemental Sculpture Park near Cirencester, Gloucestershire (The Paddocks, Somerford Keynes, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 6FE from 1st April to 30th September, 10:30 – 17:00, closed Tuesday and Wednesday, last admission 16:00).  Do visit if you are in the area.

I have started invigilating at Hauser & Wirth’s The Land we Live in – The Land We Left Behind.  The exhibition is a narrative about our relationship with the rural, featuring an incredible selection of artists including Archimboldo, Beatrix Potter (a lovely drawing of fungal spores which prompted me to investigate her innovative work on lichen and fungi), Samuel Palmer, Henry Moore, Mark Dion.  An intriguing show and so comprehensive, it is worth several visits.  As part of the exhibition there is an Honest Shop where local artisans can sell their work (£20 max).  I have some small copper items for sale – enameled lichen forms, keyrings, incense holder, balls and hearts!

Yesterday I visited Dorothy Cross’s Glance exhibition at The New Art Centre, Roche Court, near Salisbury. I was amazed by her carved marble Bed with its gently creased sheets and soft-looking pillow hollowed by an absent head. She manages to turn a traditional medium into something very contemporary.  Her body fragments – dangling feet and hand casts are also very beautiful.

Here’s to more February sunshine!





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


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…

SAW ’12

This year’s Somerset Art Weeks Open Studios event was an interesting one.  Naturally, the recession has hit peoples’ pockets a plenty, so visitor attendance and sales were clearly down on previous years, in my experience.  However, although a bit remote from the main hub of venues, I was pleased that my venue at no. 10 attracted some lovely, appreciative people and a whole range of positive feedback – all of which help make it worthwhile.  I do feel that we artists will need to work even harder to gain public recognition and earn a crust in times ahead… A blog by Nancy Farmer articulates many thoughts from this year’s SAW artists.  Somerset Art Works is a great organisation for artists in Somerset and let’s hope it continues to move from strength to strength despite the arts cuts.

Sometimes it’s hard to verbalise what my work is about – often working in an instinctive way – so it’s helpful receiving other people’s responses.  Here are some of my visitors’ comments from SAW ’12, to end the 2 weeks and 3 weekends on a positive note (and to entice you to come and view my work in forthcoming exhibitions):

“Beautifully close to nature…delicate and strong at the same time”  “..fascinating and clever”  “absolutely intriguing”  “inspirational”  “your sculptures work very well in the garden”  “we love your stuff – you have a wonderful eye for the incredible”  “wonderful texture and form”  “individual”  “unique”  “amazing work”  “inventive use of materials”  “jack of all trades – master of all!”  “so versatile”  “ethereal”  “I very much admire your work”  “so organic”  “I love your work – it’s so intricate, clever and witty”  🙂



Frome Festival – The Blue House

I made a new Large Nest for The Blue House sculpture exhibition – on now as part of the annual Frome Festival.   The Festival has a great line up –  I will try to make it to some of the events this year.  The Blue House Exhibition runs until 15th July.

Gallery4Art at East Burford House

I’m installing some work at East Burford House today for an Open Garden & Exhibition, Sunday 24th/Monday 25th June.  Let’s hope the weather holds… See information below:

Update 27/6/12

We were lucky – weather was great, loads of visitors and I sold some work!  The venue is perfect for showing sculpture – it has a wonderful array of different areas to discover, wild and formal, wooded and beach… I could live there very happily!

Press 2009 – 2011

Wildlife Artist of the Year Award ’09

Somerset Life Magazine article 2009:

garden beet – Sculptures for Gardens

Spaeda Magazine feature 2010:

bbc news – Glastonbury Festival’s Greenfields 2010 – Giant Spider

Green Diary – Glastonbury Giant Spider project – First 2 videos show me at work on Spider at Glastonbury

Mendip Times – Glastonbury Spider ’10

Somerset Life – Carymoor Environmental Sculpture Project 2010

Mendip Times – Carymoor Environmental Sculpture Project 2010

bbc news – Somerset Art Weeks 2010

bbc news – Insect sculptures stolen from Dobbies entrance

Spaeda – featured school project

Wincanton Window – Art for Life – Sustainable Sculptures in Historic Venues (2011)

Central Somerset Gazette – Scraptors at Pylle scrapyard (’11):

Wincanton Window – Scrap – The New Alchemy

Warminster Journal:

Period Living article – Salvo Fair 2011

TAAG – Devon Recycled Sculpture Trail 2011

Chronicle front page – Stackpool, Kidderminster – Community Insect Sculpture Project:

This is Somerset – Somerset Art Weeks 2011

Somerset Life Magazine – Art in the Garden, Somerset Art Weeks

Thinly Spread blog – Scraptors Stourhead Sculpture Trail ’11

This is Somerset – Stourhead Sculpture Trail ‘Beyond the Garden Gate’ ’11

Wincanton Window – Stourhead Sculpture Trail ’11


Looking back at 2011 and forward to 2012

Looking back at 2011, it’s been a busy, hard-working year and despite the financial slump I’ve survived and been involved in various fresh, exciting creative ventures.  Had some great Exhibitions with other inspiring artists (eg: ‘Mystery and Mutability’ alongside Kitty Hillier, Bridgwater Arts Centre & Gallery4Art’s Binham Grange Summer Art Show, Minehead); founded the ‘Scraptors‘ with Paul Boswell, Rachel Macleay & Anthony Wilson – creating our first Scraptors Sculpture Trail at Stourhead National Trust Gardens, Wiltshire; completed several interesting commissions – some with community participation (eg: Insects at Stackpool Park, Kidderminster); awarded a prize for Nestling Cocoon (Millfield Summer Show, Atkinson Gallery); ran numerous workshops with children and adults (including Larmer Tree Festival); took part in Somerset Art Weeks at Stoberry Park, Wells and now preparing for our next ‘Scraptorzoic Era’ landscape with the Scraptors at the Magdalen Project, Somerset/Dorset – planned for 2012.  

Other projects for the coming year include a Solo Exhibition ‘Case Space’ at Bruton Museum (Feb) and the Summer Exhibition at Bishops Palace Gardens, Wells.  More Exhibitions are in the pipeline – to be confirmed soon.

Below are some images of work created in 2011 (for further details visit

Cloudless Sulphur Detail




Sunshine at Stourhead

I went to Stourhead today to meet a large group of All Hallows Yr 8 students who were visiting our Scraptors’ Sculpture Trail.  We (Scraptors) are taking it down from next Tuesday 4th October – a slight extension to the 30th September end date – and it was my last chance to take pictures of our work there.  Everything glowed in the sunshine and Stourhead was staggeringly beautiful.  Suddenly, I felt so much more alive –  I wish Britain had more days like today!  The children explored the Trail with great enthusiasm and our Children’s Quiz sheets seemed to help.  As they were studying metals in Science, learning about sustainability, studying mythology in Latin and some doing Surrealism/metamorphosis with me in extra-curricular Art, the Trail provided plenty of relevant cross-curricular themes.

Review of our Sculpture Trail at Stourhead

We have had some wonderful feedback for our Sculpture Trail at Stourhead.  Please see the latest article & review by Wincanton Window: