“Creativity was my escape during childhood and continues to be my joy and salvation. I seek to reveal beauty in the ordinary, whether it be in a brightly colored curtain in a trailer home window, a tree growing amidst small-town architecture, or the intricate pattern on a second-hand chair. I look for the playful side of things normally seen as ugly or mundane and draw attention to the commonly overlooked. My colorful paintings depict environments and their stories. I choose to work in abstracted realism, painting recognizable places and objects that I manipulate through color and juxtapositions of flattened spaces against modeled forms. I broadly paint some areas and use graphic detail to lead the eye to the most important objects in the story. This style of painting allows me to play with composition, to create moods with color, and to give personality and life to inanimate objects. A human presence is implied by the absence of people and the inclusion of things they have left behind. Memories and experiences fuel my paintings, fleshed out with cherished details from my life—a dog leash, a plant given to me by a loved one, a favorite book, my kitchen table. While the meaning of these personal elements may not be immediately evident, their universality invites viewers to make their own associations. My hope is that my paintings bring forth other people’s stories and stir their memories, encouraging them to find beauty and playfulness in their own daily lives.” - Rachel Campbell


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Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, Campbell has lived in the USA since 2003. She went to the Otago School of Art in Dunedin, New Zealand, and the Central School of Art in Toronto, Canada. Rachel has lived and exhibited in the United Kingdom, Germany, and New Zealand, as well as in the USA. She has received numerous awards and fellowships including the Emerging Artist Grant for Durham in 2013, Southern Arts Grant in the UK, and fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center and the Key West Artist Residency. Her work is in public and private collections in many countries, including Duke University, University of NC Chapel Hill, Fidelity Investments and UNC Rex Hospital. Rachel is like a visual poet who writes about the everyday, but she is expressing her experience of life in paint. She frequently explores the urban landscapes of the American South, and of her homeland, New Zealand. Her images also invariably presuppose narratives. These often then combine to evoke the sense of belonging that we all long for, no matter what our particular environment might be.
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