Every moment of a life compresses a multitude of sounds and images. Multiply a few of those moments by a thousand and insert the presence of human memory—its selective subjectivity characterized by the blur of color, and the flickered recollection of pattern and shape. Combine those hours with a trip to the store, a walk down the street at rush hour or a few hours teaching in a drawing classroom. Throw in the morning paper, a quick pass through Facebook, a flip through a trashy magazine at the doctor’s office, yesterday’s newly begun e-book, and dinner’s bright pile of roasted red beets. Respond to a crying child. Clean a filthy bathroom. Brew a pot of coffee.
When I enter my studio, I am awash in the relentlessness of living now. Because I cannot shed my time and space, I IMAGE the fragmented, crazy quilt physical reality of contemporary life in paintings and in collages on paper. I delight in urging idiosyncratic shapes into an odd, intuitive order--just barely intact. My images are maps melding internal reality with an invented spatial reality.
Conceptually committed to inventing a visual counterpart to the breakneck pace of our culture through images equally relentless in their press of information, my paintings and collages revel in high-keyed color, the juxtaposition of shape and pattern, and the literal inclusion of bits of daily ephemera—such as colored cardboard from a cracker box, tin-foil or a child’s worn t-shirt—as my means of locating some kind of ecstatic, exuberant, ever unfolding space analogous to our fast existence.
Artist Bio / CV
Barbara Campbell Thomas is an artist who makes paintings, drawings and collages. Campbell Thomas’s work has been exhibited nationally, in such venues as the Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, Michigan, A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, New York and 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. Additionally, her work has been favorably reviewed in Art Papers as well as The International Exchange for Poetic Invention.
She is a member of the Charlottesville, Virginia-based artists’ collective, The Printmaker’s Left, and has work in their most recent publication, The New World, which was exhibited in Summer 2009 at Graphica Creativa, the 12th International Print Triennial in Jyvaskyla, Finland.
Campbell Thomas received her MFA from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000 and her BFA from the Pennsylvania State University in 1998. She has been an artist-in-residence three times at the Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, Georgia, as well as at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. Additionally, she was a fellow at the Yale Summer School of Music and Art in Norfolk, Connecticut.
She lives and works in Climax, North Carolina.