Ordinarily Odd & Superpower of the Sketchbook: Niki Campbell, Judith Dutton, Jane Glynn, Adelaide Leslie & Gwen Ovshinsky - 3D virtual exhibition by The Essential School of Painting

Ordinarily Odd & Superpower of the Sketchbook: Niki Campbell, Judith Dutton, Jane Glynn, Adelaide Leslie & Gwen Ovshinsky

Mon, 09/06/2021 to Sun, 02/06/2022

curated by:

In Ordinarily Odd, an online evening course taught by Archie Franks, we looked at our own everyday, our immediate surroundings and situations making drawings outside and of our commute, of our morning and evening routines, then made paintings that examined the oddness and interest inherent within the everyday. We also looked at artists who examine the everyday in their work.

Superpower of the Sketchbook is an online course taught by Guy Allott. Its aim is to develop the skills required to produce sketchbooks which are an inspiration, and which contain all the nuts and bolts of experimentation. A sketchbook – like life – should reflect the life and times of the artist, including the mishaps and the triumphs. They should be both revealing and indecipherable, ultimately assisting the artist in mastering their creativity.

Niki Campbell born in Croydon, and currently lives in Kent.
2017 PGCE
2008 Fine Art BA (HONS)
She has been involved with SVAF, a Kent based artist network, for the past decade, exhibiting her work regularly and has also carried out several independent community projects.
She co-ran a yearlong experimental project, called ’Paper Works’, inviting 9 Kent based emerging artists to collaborate their practices together, resulting in three exhibitions in Kent and London.
She has also participated in several residencies, bringing Kent and London based artists together. She currently works as an Art and Design Teacher in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Campbell paints landscapes from photographs and from memory; they are places that are often overlooked or seemingly banal. She plays with the notion that something has taken place there, imaginary or an actual event. She evokes atmospheres suggesting something dark, miraculous, or other worldly has taken place.
She finds beauty in overlooked places and objects, and attempts to create her own narratives. She has an interest in the ‘spaces in between’ that exist alongside otherwise occupied places. She identifies with buildings and places that reflect her diasporic identity and feelings of displacement. Campbell brings the viewer’s attention to places that she believes contain an otherness to them. In exploring these themes, she invites the viewer to connect with their own set of experiences, to create their own narrative.

Landscape is one way that we position ourselves in the world. A painting of a landscape shows us two things a) how we as humans have shaped the world and land and b) how we perceive it. Revolutions in consciousness/sensibility have always altered the styles of landscape painting, from Byzantine to Renaissance to Neo-Classical to Romantic to Impressionist to Abstract. All these reflect humanity’s changing relationship with the world and Nature. We have gone from sacred interpretations of the external world to non-religious attends to grasp the nature of Being. In my paintings, I seek to show the patterns underlying natural forms and colours. I admire Richard Diebenkorn, Barbara Rae and David Hockney among others.

My love of painting grew out of my interest in art history. Following studying for a degree and an MA in art history from Birkbeck College London I became a student at the Essential School of Painting and this is where I am continuing my painting studies.
My paintings reflect my interest in escaping from the confines of dull everyday realities. My paintings often incorporate visual references or themes from art history, especially mythological paintings, as well as referencing popular culture, such as folk tales, fairy stories, and imagery from popular media. My work is figurative, and my interest is in expressive and imaginative responses to these narratives, often using a magical realist style. My aim is to present my subject matter as something that feels magically transformed from the everyday. Contemporary artists whose work exploits the possibilities of a different aesthetic from ‘objective’ depictions of reality are also a key influence, such as Eileen Cooper, Jean Dubuffet, Michael Armitage.

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