Friday, 13 May 2022 | 10.2°C Dublin
Anna Campbell's highly-stylised pieces
As one of the new newest members of the North Louth Artists, Anna Campbell is looking forward to taking part in the group’s annual exhibition in The Basement Gallery at An Tain Arts Centre.
T he Newry-born sculptor was ‘delighted” to be invited to join the group, having previously exhibited with the group as a guest.
The exhibition, entitled ‘Looking Forward, Looking Back’, opens to the public on Friday May 20th and runs until Saturday 11th June 2022. The highly anticipated show, celebrating the group’s 54 years in operation, will feature a collection of paintings, ranging from abstract to photorealism, as well as printmaking, and sculpture in bronze and steel.
Anna knows Dundalk well, as her late mother, Teresa McKenna grew up in Dundalk and she has many cousins still living her.
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Her mother encouraged Anna and her siblings to explore their creativity, bringing home art and craft supplies from Newry Market.
The family ran Campbells Shoe Shop and Anna was fascinated by her father’s workshop, with his tools and the smell of the leathers.
Her parents gave her their blessings when she decided to study art, first doing a foundation course in Dun Laoighaire and then at the Crawford College of Art in Cork.
“I did a three year course, specialising in sculpture with print as my secondary discipline.”
She discovered a love of carving, particularly marble, but also experimented with casting, which laid the foundation for her later work.
Just had just finished college when she got a job at the bronze foundry, Pangolin Editions in Stroud on the edge of the Cotswolds in England. She worked there for three years, learning skills which would prove invaluable for her art practice.
On her return to Ireland, she went to Dublin, where she she found part-time part in the CAST foundry, one of only two bronze foundries in the city.
There she works alongside other artists who are casting their work, as well as making her own art.
"I work in Dublin three days a week and the rest of the week I’m at home in Pontzpass, just outside Newry.”
“I've been working there for twenty-seven years and it’s a great place for encouraging artists.”
In her own practice, Anna is inspired by nature, and animals are a recurring motif in her work.
“I get my inspiration from the environment and animal-life,” she says.
Her work varies from highly-stylised polished animal forms to quirky curios which combine other materials such as wood.
She has been exhibiting since the 1990s, and her work can be found in the Solomon Gallery in Dublin, the Kildare Gallery at Carlton House and Millcove, Kenmare and the Mullan in Belfast.
She has also had work in group shows at the F E McWilliam Gallery in Banbridge.
"At the moment I have two pieces in the Cotswold Sculpture Park for the summer.”
Anna will be showing two works with the North Louth Artists and is delighted to be showing work alongside the other members Ciara Agnew, Derek Bell, Sandra Bell, Gerry Clarke, Paula Eigenheer, Robert Kelly, John O Connor, Omin, Rosemary Warren, Irene Woods, and this year’s guest artists Petra Berntsson, Michael Stafford, and Ray Delaney.
The exhibition will be officially opened by Lynn McGrane, Head of Exhibitions and Collection Services at the National Gallery of Ireland, to formally open the exhibition.
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