Fiona Campbell: Life in the Undergrowth

Fiona Campbell is an artist, educator and occasional curator. She creates sculptural installations using mainly recycled and found materials. At the root of her practice is the notion of interconnectedness and life's cyclical persistence, with a focus on environmental concerns about human exploitation of nature. Fiona has an MFA, is a member of Royal Society of Sculptors and recently won the Red Line Art Works Award for her series of environmental installations.

"With the onslaught of covid19 and cancelled work, I began sowing veggie seeds, mending things, and taking life at a slower pace. Appreciating, observing and attending to nature seemed vital. My garden became my world and route to wellbeing, providing a sense of peace and purpose. At the same time, I was awarded an Arts Council England Emergency Response Fund for my art project 'Life in the Undergrowth'. Inspired by hidden worlds that often get overlooked, it became a circular process - garden feeding art and art feeding garden.

A fascination with the entanglement of roots, worms and shoots in upturned turf led to experimental responses using to-hand materials and found objects. I worked through different processes. Dried duckweed, bleached by the sun became paper; handmade tools from plant debris generated drawings and sculptural works evolved. While digging the earth to make space for an outdoor studio bay, I found a glut of old rusty nails to use in my work. I sold my soil locally - creating a circular economy.

Encounters between myself, garden as site and nature helped me form a stronger bond with all that comes and goes. Witnessing transformation, life and death, it has been emotional at times. Incidents happen, some have been wonderful, others very sad. The deep seclusion provided time and space to process, create awkward objects, and surrender to the moment. During this time I have improved my digital skills and am making a film about the project. I also published free online creative demos and have launched a new online 5 week sculpture course."

You can see more of Fiona's work on her website, or contact her through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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