Lucy Campbell Artist
Lucy says: “I am a painter and picture-story-teller, working from home in my native Scotland, where I am surrounded by big beautiful hills and woods and wild things (my two boys, owls, foxes, blackbirds and bumblebees). I am inspired by the wild, its lore and its creatures; I also love the wild inside, and the symbols we use to express what goes on in there. I strive to express wildness, whimsy and wonder in equal measures.
I paint to connect; I see the purpose of creating as providing a conduit for people to feel connected with their wild self, their child self; their furred, feathered, winged, untamed self. The subjects I paint are either engaged in a deep, soulful hug, or in magical flight – the flight of the unfettered imagination; always in connection with a spirit creature, to represent a connection with the wild within. I see this as important because I see in the world so much disconnect with nature, with wildness, with our deepest instincts. I understand it as a longing and hope for peace, reassurance, healing. More often than not I paint children with their animals; in trusting, protective and protected embraces with their wild selves. I see trust and love and wildness as crucial things that need to be expressed and shared.
In my paintings, part-figurative, part-magical realism, I seek to achieve a childlike vision – an attempt to access the purity of ‘childish’ imagination, memories, emotions, dreams and instincts – and paint predominantly childlike subjects in communion with an animal counterpart. The animals represent aspects of the Wildish nature within us all; the child, our child-self within. I paint the protection, and healing, of both the human subject and the animal; my hope is to foster the reintegration of this childlike self with instinct and intuition, as well as to portray a celebration of the wild, both within us and in the natural world. I see so much disconnect in the world, in particular in our relationship with nature but also within our human relationships, and my aim is to wordlessly speak of the connection we hope for and dream of; to offer an answer to the human need for wildness, magic and mystery, and above all, trust and healing.
For many years now I have dipped into the rich well of Jungian psychology and mythology to inform my work as a painter. The archetypes of the forest and the sea as representing the unconscious psyche feature regularly in my work as backdrops – ‘landscapes of the soul’. I endeavour to capture something of the darkness of the psyche whilst emphasising the illuminating experience of delving into the shadowier places of ourselves. The carrying of light – synonymous with my own name – is a motif I love to explore. Being able to carry light is an expression of having knowledge – an awareness that will guide towards greater and greater clarity.
Over the years I’ve seen my work being used to illustrate texts on psychology and spiritual growth, and this has provided much valued affirmation that the visual language I have been striving to express has found, and continues to find its audience. Whilst I hope to access and portray collective symbols with which others can deeply connect, my work remains unashamedly personal, as it is forged from childhood memories, myriad experiences of pain, connection, loss and growth, and as such is impossible to remove from my own life’s tale. It is a first hand account. Word of hand.”