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Fiona Campbell is embracing life through her art

Fiona Campbell is embracing a wave of creativity in her locality.

Fiona's just returned from Kenya laden with various interesting pieces of flotsam and jetsam, sketches and ideas for new work and she's just finished the first of a series of new installations inspired by the extraordinary sea life, hairy crabs, sand-filled crab sacs and strange, exotic plant life she saw in Mombasa."

Recent floods have put Somerset in the headlines though Fiona believes that Somerset is also notable for its thriving creative community and great art is flooding out of Somerset.

Braving more rain and cold winds this January, Fiona (with the help of friend and fellow maker Nick Weaver) installed her tallest work to date – a 6 metre wiry Tendril writhing heavenwards up a pole and above the entrance canopy of Sidcot Arts Centre. Tendril, accompanied by her Man and Nest pieces forms the first in a new outdoor artist programme at the Centre, run by Georgina Micklethwaite. Created out of recycled steel and copper wires, these three pieces will be on show from 1st Feb until the end of July.

Fiona will also be showing more work in their amazing light indoor space for a group exhibition “Of Form and Texture“, which runs 22nd March – 26th April ‘14.

ContainsArt have selected Fiona’s work for one of their series of summer ‘Voyages’ exhibitions. “I will be creating some new large sculptural pieces based on sea life using scrap found in the locality (especially the boatyard), as a site-specific installation for their innovative shipping container/gallery spaces at Watchet harbour”. Alongside a community workshop, her installations can be seen from 4th – 15th June, open Wed – Sun.

Other forthcoming exhibitions include Showborough Sculpture Exhibition, Twyning, GL20 6DN 25th April – 15th June; Art Parks International Sculpture Show, St. Martin, Guernsey GY4 6SG in May; Glastonbury Abbey Sculpture Trail in the Summer and Somerset Open Studios ‘14. This event focuses on individual artists in their working environment and Fiona’s work will be displayed in her lovely spacious cottage garden and historic Laundry-converted-to-Studio in Cranmore from 20th Sept – 5th Oct. She will be sharing her venue and collaborating with Nick Weaver, whose elegant, functional wood pieces compliment her metal structures.

In Fiona’s new role as East Mendip Rep for Somerset Art Works Fiona is planning a Quarry Sculpture Trail in Somerset for 2015, tied in with community engagement. She will also be involved in a “Dancing Cranes” project this spring (at All Hallows Prep School, where she teaches extra curricular art), linked to the Great Crane Project.

Fiona’s sculptures are increasing in size and reputation. Last year, she installed some very impressive site-specific pieces, the largest being 7 metres in diameter. Made of recycled materials, they were displayed in a Somerset garden (Esotera) as part of the SAW/NGS Abundance Art/Garden Trail (’13). Her theme for this work was ‘Garden of Eden’ with inspiration from beautiful, prolific lichens growing on the garden's trees. A book about the work “Abundance – Art in the Garden” will be published in March.

As a Green Capital Artist-in-Residence for Bristol’s Big Green Week (’12), Fiona’s work included giant floating sculptures in the harbour beside the Arnolfini, alongside an exhibition and workshops she ran at the Arnolfini with the community.

Last Autumn Richard Tomlinson of Somerset Film, made a short film about Fiona’s work entitled ‘Common Threads’ as part of the Ignite Somerset Project. This has now been published online (see link). Fiona’s work can also be viewed on her website: www.fionacampbellart.co.uk

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