I paint and draw using found, generic consumer products abstracted from nature. My compositions reflect nature, but are not drawn from nature directly; instead, they are inspired by the human-constructed world. These images mirror a tension that I see between modern human demands and our alienation from the natural world. I believe there is inspiration to be found in our collective response to this conundrum of separation from nature and attraction to its forms.
I draw from manufactured consumer products like paper towels, place mats, plastic bags – the detritus of our culture. I incorporate botanical decorative motifs; for example, the flower shaped, non-slip stickers found on bathtub and shower floors across the world.
My work addresses what I see as a central paradox of our contemporary condition: many of the images we consciously and subliminally surround ourselves with are somehow derived from the natural world, however, societal demands pull our focus elsewhere. We have become increasingly distant, detached, and often oblivious to the wild places and things we once valued so deeply.
Ellen Campbell’s paintings have been featured in solo and group exhibitions at galleries and cultural centers in Brooklyn, Minneapolis, Iowa and Chicago. Campbell is also the recipient of numerous awards and honors including Yaddo and Ucross Foundation artist residencies. In addition, her work is in many private and corporate collections. Ellen Campbell received her M.F.A. from the University of Chicago and her B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives, works and teaches in Chicago.
cv/resume available on request