Truth Decay from the series Textual Taxonomics (2021)
Liza Campbell (1959-)
Tapestry embroidered in silk thread on washed linen. 30 editions
Framed in tulip wood with museum glass
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Artist’s Note: “Inspired by the strange experience of becoming estranged from people who seem to have lost their minds, who in turn see me as a blind sheep heading for a future as an automaton, I began to think about the huge array of persistent falsehoods and myths both subtle and alert. We all believe in fairytales, some sweetly dotty, others black.”
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The British have always found word play, in its myriad of invariably home-grown forms, an irresistible diversion. But with her current series of embroidered tapestries (each comprising over 360,000 stitches of silk thread on washed linen), Liza Campbell has created a new and original means of celebrating and revelling in the breadth, etymology, poetry, nostalgia, eccentricity and pure joy of the English language with each work collating a series of words and phrases (some formal, some colloquial; some familiar, some abstruse; some playful, some dark; some archaic, some definingly modern) into a category and under a title of her own invention. It’s a process, indeed a new technique of verbal classification Liza calls TEXTUAL TAXONOMICS. The resulting artworks are beautiful, intriguing, witty and insightful. Unread, the intricately-rendered panel of Caslon typeface letters offer a gloriously subtle mosaic of craft and colour. Digested into words and phrases, the tableaus remind us how language has come to reflect and record the endless complexities of heart and mind in all of us.
Liza Campbell is a London-based artist, born in the Highlands of Scotland and raised at Cawdor Castle. Known for her re-worked, sardonically-quipped watercolours of antique etchings and photographs, her artistic practice has also included engraving, calligraphy and collage. She has exhibited at the All Saints gallery, Sladmore gallery, Michael Naimsky gallery, Temple gallery, the Great W Space gallery, London Art Fair, Affordable Art Fair, Art on Paper NY, Print Fair NY, Rebecca Hossack gallery and does private commissions.