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Cressida Campbell
, 2001

by Greg Weight

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 50.4 cm x 40.4 cm, image: 45.5 cm x 35.6 cm)

Cressida Campbell (b. 1960), artist, has worked for decades in a studio at her home in Bronte, Sydney. As children, she and her siblings provided material for their father, the writer Ross Campbell, who contributed funny, gentle columns on their home life at ‘Oxalis Cottage’ to the Women’s Weekly and the Sunday Telegraph from the 1950s to the 1970s. Having trained at East Sydney Technical College and the Yoshida Hanga Academy, Tokyo, Campbell held her first solo exhibition in Sydney in 1979. A decade later she began showing with Rex Irwin Art Dealer, and in 1994 joined with Philip Bacon Galleries in Brisbane, remaining with both through the 1990s and 2000s and at length gaining a Melbourne gallerist, too, in Sophie Gannon. Campbell’s technique is distinctive, painstaking and slow, involving drawing on wood, carving the outlines of the drawing, hand-painting the incised wooden block, wetting it and passing it through a press with paper. Potentially, two art works result - one on paper, and one on wood, each of which will be further treated by hand. While Campbell has never won a high-profile art prize her interiors, still lifes, landscapes and flower studies are coveted by collectors and experienced critics rate them amongst Australia’s most refined and timeless contemporary artworks. The Woodblock Paintings of Cressida Campbell (2008), the production of which was meticulously overseen by Campbell’s late husband, Peter Crayford, during his terminal illness, is widely regarded as the most luxurious book on the work of any Australian artist.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2004
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2004.134