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Horsham’s prize winning Fleur Campbell stages London art show



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Martin Read – Business Reporter


After some years of showing in the provinces, Horsham artist Fleur Campbell has just staged a successful new show in the heart of London’s acclaimed Fitzrovia district. The show was entitled The Palimpsest of Butrint –  a palimpsest is a manuscript on which later writing has been imposed, but retains visible traces of its earlier form. At the exhibition eight 100cm x 100cm canvases were hung along with two 100 x 100 light-boxes behind ink and water colour on silk pieces, 12 smaller canvases (30 x 30) and 5 small pastel and crayon works on paper. Fleur’s oil and mixed media paintings are inspired by a trip to Butrint, Albania’s little visited, but wonderful World Heritage site with its with fading glories of the Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Venetian civilisation and culture. Having qualified with a BA in fine art and winning the prestigious Laing Prize, Fleur is now completing her MA at Brighton, and she says: “Mixed media is my preferred method of working and I relish the surprising effects of resistant and sympathetic mediums. Layers are a constant theme in both my research and within my working process. I use the residual fluids from my mixing and cleaning jars to create lines on the work, really enjoying the risks of letting the fluids run across the surface, rotating the square canvas to allow them to form a loose grid. Some fluids are absorbed, staining the surface, others are more resistant, creating texture. The mix of controlled and undermined marks successfully reflect both active and passive characteristics, the loose grid format emerging to become a recurrent theme and a deliberate construction on the surface of the work. Although a rule was used for horizontal division of the canvas, the lines were not rigorously adhered to but allowed to soften and distort.”                                                                                                      Talking about the inspiration for her work Fleur continued, saying: “The site at Butrint is set on an idyllically situated peninsular in the Adriatic Sea facing Corfu. In high summer the sea and sky are cerulean and the whole peninsula is covered in Eucalyptus trees. Metaphorically, Butrint is a palimpsest – an old surface where the story has been repeatedly scraped clean and rewritten, with the ruins offering a wealth of themes and layers encompassing the mythological, the historical, the experiential, physical architecture, artefacts and the interplay of light and colour. Working in pen and ink in situ, I recorded key elements of interest from mosaics, pillars, pools and a magnificent lion gate. The site has been in disrepair since the occupation of the Venetian Empire, it was buried beneath deep undergrowth and, until recently, within a communist regime. Layers of limestone and chalk are overlaid with Greek flagstones, Roman mosaics and brickwork. The island is bathed in sunshine but overshadowed by overhanging dry green eucalyptus leaves, swaying in rhythm with the sea lapping the shore in what was once a valuable port, but since ravaged by earthquake and fire.”

Further information together with examples of Fleur Campbell’s work can be found on the website


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