Rebecca Campbell: The Four Elements
The four elements of nature tie this exhibition of new oil paintings by Rebecca Campbell together.
Campbell's work is bold, bright and colourful. They are paintings, yes, but the fantastical subjects and seeming naiveté means that they wouldn''t appear out of place illustrating a children''s book or fairytale.
The illustrative quality and the way that Campbell renders animals are reminiscent of more primitive artists. However, the composition, use of perspective and numerous references to other artists (Matisse, Hokusai, Wood) reveal her training.
At first the scenes Campbell depicts all seem to be fairly serene takes on nature, but further inspection reveals that there is something else going on. Deer in a wood look tranquil enough, but soon the realisation dawns on you that the two stags in the corner are about to lock antlers for a fight. A tiger emerging from behind a white pillar looks peaceful, but the way he fixes you with his gaze isn't entirely benevolent. In this way, Campbell incorporates into her paintings an element of danger, enhancing the beauty of nature. Perhaps this element should be added to the Earth, Air, Fire, and Water that give the exhibition its title.