Art Sets.

Cressida Campbell

By the Art Gallery of NSW

Like artists Giorgio Morandi or Margaret Olley (her great friend), printmaker Cressida Campbell recognises the beauty in humble things.

Drawn from the Gallery’s collection, these nine works span nearly a quarter of a century of Campbell’s singular practice, in which the Sydney artist has refined traditional Japanese woodblock printing techniques she learned while studying at the Yoshida Hanga Academy in Tokyo in 1980.

After drawing her subject onto a plywood block from life, Campbell then carves the block and hand paints it using watercolour. The block is then dampened, before a sheet of paper is placed over the image and pressure applied using a roller. While this method can produce small editions, Campbell often produces her prints as unique impressions, as well as exhibiting her hand-painted woodblocks as art objects in their own right.

'I like the texture and the colour of the watercolour prints,’ the artist has said. ‘I don't do it all at once like an expressionist painter. All I know is if I just draw and paint onto a bit of paper it would not be nearly as good as the process that it goes through when it's cut.'

Whether it’s shifting hemlines or a city skyline, a flower in bloom or a declaration of love scrawled on a beach-side wall, Campbell captures the transitory moments of life, imbuing her work with a timeless quality and enduring appeal.