On Now at Artful!
Artful : The Gallery presents ‘Ancient Songs’, a solo exhibition of local multi-media artist Kristina Campbell. Campbell has reached back through her Danish ancestry to bring the Nordic gods to her mythopoetic sensibility as an artist.
This exhibition is an overview of the artwork Campbell has produced on this theme through the past decade and includes several commissions specially created for buyers with affinity for a particular Norse god. In 2020, seeking comfort in the early days of the pandemic, Campbell began producing shields on round wood panels, complete with hand-forged iron shield bosses at their center and runic inscriptions for strength and protection.
Campbell initially learned how to ‘draw like a Viking’ by copying the designs from each of the various Viking periods. She quickly found her signature method of ‘drawing’ with a Dremel drill into the surface of wooden cradle panels before adding layers of oil painting with warm, rich red and earthen pigments. Campbell often adds gold leaf to her designs.
The art of the Vikings shows the influence of their contact with the Celts, particularly in their adoption of woven knot work. Campbell was intrigued to see how the Vikings, beginning within the geometric formality of the Celts, proceeded to blow it apart in true Viking style, maintaining the weaving while freeing the final forms. Over time, the coiling woven tendrils became the bodies and limbs of fantastical beasts and creatures.
Campbell’s mytho-poetic style is an expression of her belief that access to human wisdom is contained in all world mythologies. For Campbell, creativity is both the beginning and the end; without imagination there is no access to the language of myth, metaphor, symbols, or poetry. She believes it is through immersing ourselves in these non-linear, fluid flows of experience that we nurture and grow our imaginations and creativity.
Ancient Songs runs at Artful : The Gallery through December 24th.
The Artist: Kristina Campbell
Kristina Campbell is an artist, counsellor and facilitator who graduated form UVic with a Bachelor of Fine arts (Honours) in 2009. She moved to the Comox Valley in 2017, after many years in Victoria and a quick stop on Gabriola Island as she worked her way North.
Her multi-media art practise primarily includes painting, video and experimental film. This exhibition is made up of artworks produced over the past decade on the theme of the Vikings and Norse Mythology.
Campbell's style is an expression of her belief that working with myth and metaphor can provide access to timeless human wisdom, and that using mythological imagery can inspire and lead to the creation of new narratives. Campbell's fascination with mythology, symbols and dream imagery is a unifying theme across her work in various mediums.