Experienced in a practice that runs 40 years deep, Barbara Campbell-Allen revels in the secret alchemy of the process of “unknowing”, patiently charting the artistic voyage from her hands to the volatile work of the flame. In the belly of her anagama wood fired kiln is a slow alchemy where vessels and sculpted forms are tightly packed and fired with seasoned wood. Each piece takes four days and four nights: a journey both intensely physical and profoundly unpredictable.
Campbell-Allen breathes life into her metier by making works that are both visceral and sentient. Each piece, modest or monumental, emanates both presence and a deep sense of place.
Words by Anna Johnson
“My favourite time to work the kiln is the morning shift from 3am to midday. This is when I watch the moon setting and the sun rising. This is when I ‘read’ the flame and feed it every ten minutes, building up the embers and studying colour within the white heat. I know that I am essentially experimental and I accept a high rate of failure because I am taking clay to its extreme.” Campbell-Allen
‘Elemental Presence’ Exhibition, 3 October – 22 November
Acquisitions available through Rochfort Gallery
Phone: 0438 700 712
Email: [email protected]
317 Pacific Highway, North Sydney NSW 2060