a solo exhibtion
Emily Jane Campbell
11th March – 16th March 2016
Private View 6pm – 10pm Friday 11th March
Geddes Gallery, 26, Caledonian Road, London N1 9DU
A sense of time passing and the endless flux of organic matter both in nature and the body are central to my work. It is typified by the themes of personal loss and mourning, the inevitable decomposition in nature and life, and the memories which are ultimately all that endure. It has become increasingly preoccupied with the dichotomy of life and decay as inseparable, as one and the same. For a lot of life the destruction of one thing is necessary for the growth and renewal of another. In this way both tragedy and beauty can be found in decay.
There is a focus on colour and texture. Bright, sometimes perhaps even sugary, colours are predominant in most of my paintings. This palette is in fact a very deliberate way of expressing the seriousness and, moreover, the tragedy of life. My choice of pastel colour, neon, iridescence, glitter, gold leaf and romantic, supposedly feminine pinks, yellows and blues belies a deep sadness as I invite the viewer to consider that we always look backwards, at our childhood through rose tinted glasses. We never quite accept that it’s over, lost forever to time, and we are alone now, not safe, not at home.
I recreate the texture of decay: the texture of the paint peeling from the walls of your childhood home which was once indestructible; the texture of the bumps and blisters caused by the termites who are eating their way through your castle ramparts; the texture of the glittering walls of your home as you remember it and desperately try to reconstruct it, but not quickly enough, the termites work faster than you can; the gleaming, encrusted texture of the crystal cathedral you used to live in, that you see rising from the mist but moving further away when you look over your shoulder; the texture of the decay that has taken root in your organs as the disease eats its way through you, there is nothing you can do, you cannot save your home, even your body isn’t immune.
No matter how hard I tried and how fast I worked, I couldn’t paint you back to life. I’m sorry. I will spend my days ever attempting to reconstruct organic matter. I paint the dream you have about how we used to be. I paint the loss of a moment more beautiful than this one, never to be recaptured, and the systematic invasion and destruction of the resplendent home to whose careful construction we have dedicated our lives. It has gone now, decay set in and it was taken from us before our very eyes. We have nothing left. Our only option is “to stoop and build them up with worn out tools”.
Solo Exhibition: FATHERLAND
Fine artist Emily Jane Campbell opens her first solo exhibition with a Private View from 6pm on Friday 11th March 2016 at Geddes Gallery in London.
Campbell’s show, which is supported by a bursary award from Cass Art, London, will see the culmination of almost two years work further exploring the increasingly central themes of loss, memories, childhood and decay as she negotiates the loss of her father in 2015. Her oil and mixed-media work incorporates a variety of materials including handmade paper, gold leaf and organic plant matter.
The exhibition will be held at Geddes Gallery, previously the Italian deli, K. C. Continental, which is a pop up gallery currently located in a building in Kings Cross that displays so many years of history in its peeling walls and abandoned furniture. The fascinating and unique space is something of a spiritual home for Campbell’s work as it has the feeling of holding memories in its brickwork, perfectly reflecting her themes.
“My work has become increasingly preoccupied with the dichotomy of life and decay as inseparable, as one and the same. For a lot of life the destruction of one thing is necessary for the growth and renewal of another. In this way both tragedy and beauty can be found in decay.” says Campbell “I am interested in the way that we dwell in our carefully constructed interior world; we cling to the past, our childhood, our innocence and the comfort of idyllic, dream-like memories as a denial of the inevitability of loss and degeneration. I paint the loss of a moment more beautiful than this one, never to be recaptured.”
For more information contact:
Emily Jane Campbell, 07752 985134, firstname.lastname@example.org
Geddes Gallery is located at 26, Caledonian Road, London N1 9DU
For more information about the space contact:
Cornelia Marland, Gallery Manager, email@example.com
Note to editors:
Emily Jane Campbell is available for interviews and advance photographs.