Hamilton Gallery Victoria: Cressida Campbell – Woodblock paintings and unique woodblock prints

Woodblock Paintings and Unique Woodblock Prints by Cressida Campbell at Hamilton Gallery

Until July 7 2019

Cressida Campbell
White waratah, 2000,
carved woodblock, hand painted in watercolour pigment
51.5 x 57cm block;
Art Gallery of New South Wales

Woodblock Paintings and Unique Woodblock Prints by Cressida Campbell from public and private collections including key works from the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Remarkable works of observation centred on intimate domestic interiors, still life compositions and nature, by one of Australia’s most accomplished artists.

AGNSW: The woodblock was made at the artist’s Avalon studio, its subject inspired by a white waratah flower given to her by Leo Schofield.

One impression only was taken from the block, as is Campbell’s usual practice. It was exhibited at the Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane in 2000.



Australian artist Cressida Campbell is celebrated for her meticulous technique that combines both painting and printing.


Ginkgo, 2017, woodblock (watercolour paint on incised plywood) 81 x 60cm (31 7/8” x 23 5/8 in”)

Australian artist Cressida Campbell (b. 1960, Sydney, Australia) is celebrated for her meticulous technique that combines both painting and printing. Campbell’s process results in two unique artworks: an engraved woodblock and a mirror-image print on paper.

For four decades Campbell has begun each of her works by drawing her composition onto a sheet of plywood, before inscribing its contours with an etching tool.

Once the woodblock is prepared, she paints the carved design with layer upon layer of watercolour paint.

Finally the entire board is sprayed with water and used to create a single, parallel impression, which is hand finished with fine sable brushes.

As a result of this intensive practice, each work can take weeks to complete.
White Angophora, 2001, Woodblock (Watercolour paint on incised plywood)
79 x 76cm (31 1/8” x 29 7/8”)

Working from a home studio in Sydney, Campbell draws inspiration from her surroundings.

The legacy of such artists as Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard is paramount to her oeuvre, which demonstrates a pronounced interest in décor, selecting motifs principally for their aesthetic value rather than with concern for their symbolic function.

In her hands, everyday scenes become rarified, elevated by her affinity for decorative design and her refined application of colour.
Still lifes, domestic interiors and landscapes of her native Australia are imbued with a sense of profound serenity and a sensibility that invokes the significance of time, reflection and the intimacy of a private world, which nonetheless speaks to a shared experience between herself and her viewers.

Image details: Bowels with Everlasting Daisies, 2001, Unique woodblock print, 46 x 46cm (18 1/8” x 18 1/8”), Courtesy of Simon Lee Gallery

Cressida Campbell is represented by Simon Lee Gallery.

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