I think of my work as similar to that of a poet who writes about the everyday, but instead of wordplay, I express myself in paint. It is very important to me that my work evolves from a narrative. I’m commonly reflecting on stories I have been told or experiences I have had. I love to include humor in my work—usually a sense of playfulness around things that are common and ordinary. And whether I paint landscape, food, or portraits of objects, these are all a form of landscape to me. I paint about the relationships between things and our relationship to things.
In this my work has a recurring theme—the sense of belonging we all desire, to feel understood, accepted and at home. No matter what an environment might be, it always is or has been home to someone. I am particularly drawn to trailers, which are repetitive or generic in design, but individual in presentation, expressing the needs we all have to live and to be seen as individuals. Some trailers are strewn with leftover belongings, melancholically suggesting a mysterious past life. They draw me in to want to know more of the stories that lay behind those walls.
I also find myself constantly drawn to my original landscape of New Zealand. The landscapes of our childhood create a remarkable bond, even in their most suburban and mundane instances. The relationship I find to these landscapes are deeply evocative for me of childhood memories, where I was often observing little snippets of adult life.
Rachel Campbell is originally from New Zealand, and has been living in the USA since 2003. She studied art in both New Zealand and Canada, and has also spent time living and exhibiting in the UK and Germany.
Rachel also exhibits with Mahler Gallery Raleigh, Tyndall Gallery Chapel Hill, Craven Allen Gallery Durham, and other regional galleries in group shows. Her work is in private and public collections in over a dozen countries.