Starting with modified digital imagery printed on archival paper, Campbell overlays two-dimensional surfaces with drawing and hand sewing. The objects of interest are organic structures and diverse life forms – characteristic bodily forms of mature organisms, of which the human body is one such entity. All life forms are part of a complex interconnected system, which is shaped and limited by time. Temporal Matter encapsulates the spatial and temporal boundaries within which physical objects exist, transform, and dissipate. With consideration to the real, the symbolic, and the abstract, Campbell’s composite imagery queries our consequential proximity to the shifting realities of that, which is temporary.
Campbell is a Toronto-based artist who trained at the Ontario College of Art & Design, with independent studies in France, Humanities at the University of Toronto, and Philosophy at York University. Her practice extends from two-dimensional collage to three-dimensional construction and site-specific installation. She has exhibited in Canada and abroad at galleries in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Italy, and Germany. Campbell was a member of Workscene Gallery and Artists Co-operative, Broadview Collective (BVW), The Red Head Gallery, The Tree Museum Collective (Toronto/Muskoka), and is currently a member of loop Gallery. Her work is included in private, public, and corporate collections.
LHG: May you talk a bit about the geometric forms in your work…
JLC: When thinking about this new work and how to overlay composite imagery, consideration was given to what is real, also the symbolic and the abstract. The geometric forms are abstractions of diverse life forms, organisms, etc. that are not visible to the naked eye due to minute size, or are concealed within larger organisms. Free from representational qualities, the “hidden” is made visible and permitted to exist as an idea.
LHG: Why did you choose to sew hair into the works?
JLC: The human body is a complex organism of which we can see the exterior surface and outwardly physical function(s). Most of the body’s interior functions we do not see, although accept its intricate workings. How the body responds to and remembers lived experiences can be measured through physical and intellectual change. Hair is connected to the body, constantly growing, constantly shedding – reminding us of passing time and time past, and in that way evokes memories. Also, hair can be seen as decorative excess, and women’s hair in particular reads as erotic, an invitation to desire.
LHG: Your past work is sculptural based what was your thought process moving into 2 dimensional pieces?
JLC: I started my practice as a painter, and was aware of creating the illusion of three-dimensions on a two- dimensional surface. The development of ideas challenged my use of materials and methodologies bringing about a transition from drawing, painting and college to three-dimensional sculpture/construction and site-specific installation. The act of “building” sculptures made it possible to establish a relationship between form, content and space. I continued constructing three-dimensional works for several years, anticipating that at some point I would return to the two-dimensional surface – curious to know how working three-dimensionally would alter my approach to a two-dimensional surface. What I have carried over from working 3-D to 2-D is tactile materiality. My use of materials and methodologies emphasize the working process, recognizing material as tactile image and subject.
LHG: As an artist what is the most pivotal event that has changed your perspective / art?
JLC: Living life as a continuum is pivotal…
LHG: What are some recent influences on your work?
JLC: More recent influences on my art practice have been the use of a digital camera to record and build a database of images. In addition, computer technology offering various applications that allow modification of digitized imagery. There is a desire to simplify, to extract the “still” point from the extraneous chatter of contemporary life. If this is possible it will influence how I consider and deliver content.
Temporal Matters #3 (detail)