LOOK AT ME Exhibit: Works by Kris Campbell
Rockland Center for the Arts
Sept. 10 – Oct. 4 in Gallery One
Visitors must call to schedule an appointment
and follow social distancing protocols, masks required.
LOOK AT ME is about seeing and being seen: This exhibit asks the viewer to go beyond judgement to become aware of what is seen, how something is seen, while actively engaging in the experience of the outward—and inward—gaze.
Kris Campbell creates meaningful visual experiences that connect to the soul, time, space, and the human experience. Campbell takes a delicate, nominal craft, and, using yarn on screen assembles large works that take up space and demand to be seen. The consistent cross stitch throughout creates a smooth surface that highlights the color variation, evoking waves of light, and molecular energy. In some places the screen is left bare, allowing for a space beyond the surface of the work to be seen in the way a soul searches beyond the surface.
Campbell started out as a painter on plexiglass, but switched to tapestry when her children were born because of the yarn’s ability to be compact, easily transportable, and very forgiving of the constant stop and start of motherhood. Campbell inherited the craft yarns from her grandmother who had been a textile artist in Rotterdam. Bold and colorful, Campbell’s portraits are impressively detailed. After choosing an image for a new artwork, she carefully curates and manipulates several images digitally until a final map can be utilized. It can take up to 40 pages for a large piece. Each pixel square is given a color icon. A map key shows the icon and the color. Using one type of yarn, her final piece mimics the appearance of a phone screen: smooth and unvariegated. On a rod that hangs eye-level across her studio; netting is rolled up or down depending on the desired effect. This stage can take up to a month or two depending on the size of the piece. She often chooses to strategically leave the stitches out so the final piece can be transparent. Mistakes are made, the pattern isn’t always followed producing an organic quality to a process traditionally seen as industrial.
When the piece is finished, it is taken off the rod, sprayed and treated in sections in order to be displayed outside. The magic happens when the piece is hung for the first time – and the knotty side allows Campbell to share with the viewer the experience of seeing it for the first time.
LOOK AT ME’s pieces were selected for inclusion to invite the gaze: The Shephard beckons; See Me confronts; Me,Too accepts; Fairy Light basks; The Doll (work on paper) questions the value of the gaze. Campbell invites the viewer to suspend judgement and look at—and through— the work, and within.
Also, on exhibit: Contemporary Hudson Valley Artist: the Faculty Exhibit and The Feminine Perception: Beauty and Nonsense, works by Leslie Fandrich.
Free to the general public. The gallery is open by appointment only. Please call 845-358-0877 to schedule your visit. There will be a limit on visitors in the space at all times in alignment with the current social distancing protocols. Visitors are required to wear masks upon entering RoCA and while in the gallery. Rockland Center for the Arts is located at 27 S Greenbush Rd., West Nyack, NY 10994. Gallery hours are: Mon.-Fri. 10am-4pm; and Sat. 1-4pm. Visit www.rocklandartcenter.org for more information.