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Art Department

Campbell Works in Digital Exhibition

Campbell Works in Digital Exhibition

: Courtesy of the artist.. Photo by Courtesy of the artist..

Works from Cornish Professor Robert Campbell included in BAC’s The Gallery exhibition Digital Art: A New Generation.

Open now and running through April 22 at The Gallery of the venerable Bainbridge Arts and Crafts (BAC), Digital Art: A New Generation will feature the work of several notable Northwest artists, including Cornish’s own Robert Campbell. There is a reception for the artists Friday, April 5 from 6-8 p.m.

It is telling that BAC subtitles its new exhibition “a new generation.” An entire generation of artists has come of age never having known a time without computers. Paintbrushes haven’t been totally replaced by pixels, but there is no denying how important digital art has become.

“Digital technologies are transforming contemporary fine art,” writes BAC, “having become a powerful addition to many artists’ mixed media tool kits. This exhibition brings together an exciting group of contemporary artists who reveal the inventive, multi-dimensional array of what’s possible, from collage to encaustic to prints.”

Bob Campbell has a number of works in the exhibition. “I have seven pieces total: four from Bardo Series and three fresco transfers.”

The Bardo Series consists of framed color prints. It was begun in 2010, and work on it is ongoing. “‘Bardo’ is a Tibetan term referring to transitional states of being or liminal states,” says Campbell. “I am borrowing the term loosely in my work, describing not only the feeling of the mysterious, empty landscapes depicted in the imagery, but also the technique through which the images emerge.”

The images of the Bardo Series are actually still-frames of an animation sequence. “Each animation is constructed of dozens of photographs of accidental outcomes,” says Campbell, “marks or residue left behind from some other purposeful act. The work stems from an interest in the unseen and unnoticed results of our actions, which are often visual and contain seeds of aesthetic beauty.”

Displayed in the exhibition are Bardo #14, Bardo #3, Bardo #7 and Bardo #8; Bardo #9, Bardo #10 and Bardo #11, all from 2010. Two others, Bardo #1 and Bardo #2 are from 2013.

Campbell’s “fresco transfers” are works that began as digital photographs printed on a polyester substrate, which were then ‘transferred’ or applied onto marine plywood covered with a thin layer of wet fresco material, such as rabbit skin glue, water and marble dust. The images are photographs of the results of restoration attempts by park officials to paint over unwanted tagging and other marks left by members of the public at Fort Worden State Park. “The results of this back and forth ‘conversation’ — or battle of wills — between rule-breakers and rule-keepers had compositional elements of beauty to me,” says Campbell, “elements of unexpected outcomes of the merging of interests of the two groups, and the steady influence and ever-changing outcomes of natural processes: lichen, moss, rust, weather.”

The fresco transfers are Untitled 1, Untitled 2 and Untitled 3- all date from 2005.

Along with Robert Campbell’s pieces, the exhibition includes work by Jeff Brice, Nichole DeMent, Dionne Haroutunian, Iskra Johnson, Amanda Knowles, Claudia Meyer-Newman, Barbara Robertson, Stephen Rock, Karin Schminke, and Barbara Wilson.

BAC is a 61-year-old nonprofit organization. Its pioneering vision continues into the 21st century through its gallery programs, community art education, and support for art in the schools.

Bob Campbell works as an installation artist, digital printmaker, documentary filmmaker and video artist. Since 1984, he has exhibited internationally in Europe, Japan, Canada and the U.S., including the WRO 90 Festival in Wroclaw, Poland, Montbeliard International Video Competition in France, the Tokyo International Video Festival in Japan and IMAGE Film and Video Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.

IMAGE: Robert Campbell, Bardos #1 and 2, 2013, Archival Inkjet Print.


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