Interview with Lee Campbell

How did you find your voice as an artist ?

Leaving NZ and looking for a new challenge, I settled in England in 1983 where, after several years of part-time art courses I won a place on a degree course which began what has become my life’s work.

Painting by Lee Campbell: Morning Mist, 2017, Oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm

What have been the highlights of your artistic career ?

Finding studios was the first post graduate challenge which I solved by working as a resident artist in a variety of unusual locations. This began with my first commission which was in the Space Science division at the University of Kent where I completed a large painting of the Giotto Space Craft and Haley’s Comet encounter.
Following residencies have included Kings School, Canterbury, St Saviours church in central London, the Royal Ballet School, National Physical Laboratory, the Port of Southampton, The Shard, and the Savoy Hotel. Residencies provided me with locations, exciting subject matter and new audience for the final exhibition of artwork produced during this time.

Painting by Lee Campbell: Stratum, 2018, Oil on canvas, 76 x 100 cm

Which artists do you admire ?

Being based on Grosvenor Dock in central London on the banks of the Thames was a real highlight as it allowed me painting in same location as several of my heroes – Turner and Whistler both of whom lived closed by during different stages of their lives. Whistler’s magnificent ‘Nocturnes’ have been highly inspirational and as I now work on an island in the same river the influences have continued. My studio is in a shed in a working boatyard on Eel Pie Island with a small community of artists and craftspeople. There is footbridge which connects the island to the Twickenham Embankment in South west London and twice a year we open our studios to the public (the next event is 23 – 24 June and 30 – 1st July 2018).

Can you tell us a bit about the idea and process of making Pacific Reef ?

‘Pacific Reef ‘ was inspired by the fight to keep our oceans free of plastic and the damage done by pollution. I have explored the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and am deeply concerned by the vulnerability of this environment. The painting is built up slowly using layers of glazes to suggest the transparency of sunlight on shallow water.

Painting by Lee Campbell: Pacific Reef, 2018, Oil on canvas, 80 x 120 cm

Lee Campbell’s profile on Singulart:

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