Jo Campbell studied sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art, receiving her BA in 1993. Her early work consisted mainly of large metal cages. She went on to complete an MSc in Ecology/Sociology in order to explore environmental concerns through art. She worked in community-arts but gradually became more involved in environmental education. Twenty years, a ‘career’ and two children later, Jo has returned to a focus of art.

From 2007-2009 she created installations on the theme of climate change including a temporary piece sited at Nelson Cathedral entitled ‘Small Steps, Monumental Task’. From 2009 onwards the work took on a more personal note, exploring visual and embodied experiences of self/nature. Jo continues to run workshops on this theme during zen retreats and from her home in Golden Bay.

For the last 5 years Jo has been exploring the ancient technique of encaustics (painting with hot wax), she has mastered this technique and developed unique ways of working within this medium which remain common to the artist alone.


“I love the versatility of working in encaustics. Part painterly part sculptural, wax is a balance between controlling and letting go. You build up layers and then peal them back. The wax flows when hot then settles into stillness. The challenge is to work from a place of openness to all this.

I aim to capture the felt-sense of a particular moment in time, letting go the stories that loop in my mind and finding what lies beneath. What is that quality? How to stay present there and let this infuse the work? These are the questions that drive me.

It’s a kind of breathing in and out. My job is to stay open to the process and convey my experience, then invite the viewer to consider theirs in response.”

 

Works in Gallery

 

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