Australian artist Cressida Campbell (b. 1960, Sydney, Australia) is celebrated for her meticulous technique that combines both painting and printing. Campbell’s process results in two unique artworks: an engraved woodblock and a mirror-image print on paper. For four decades Campbell has begun each of her works by drawing her composition onto a sheet of plywood, before inscribing its contours with an etching tool. Once the woodblock is prepared, she paints the carved design with layer upon layer of watercolour paint. Finally the entire board is sprayed with water and used to create a single, parallel impression, which is hand finished with fine sable brushes. As a result of this intensive practice, each work can take weeks to complete.
Working from a home studio in Sydney, Campbell draws inspiration from her surroundings. The legacy of such artists as Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard is paramount to her oeuvre, which demonstrates a pronounced interest in décor, selecting motifs principally for their aesthetic value rather than with concern for their symbolic function. In her hands, everyday scenes become rarified, elevated by her affinity for decorative design and her refined application of colour. Still lifes, domestic interiors and landscapes of her native Australia are imbued with a sense of profound serenity and a sensibility that invokes the significance of time, reflection and the intimacy of a private world, which nonetheless speaks to a shared experience between herself and her viewers.