Steven Campbell Calendar, July 2020.
Untitled – 2006/07
This painting is one of a small group completed before Steven’s death in the August of 2007.
He always worked loosely around a theme when preparing an exhibition i.e. Pinocchio, the wars in Eastern Europe/Plight of migrants going back to his bumbling Woodhouse figures and his protagonist Hunt.
In this final series he had begun to paint around a theme of ‘Extreme Sports’ but not of the usually accepted kind such as base jumping, caving, canyoning etc. Instead his idea was to take everyday normal and safe activities but put a different and dangerous twist on them, such as in the July Calendar where we see two little girls happily potting plants in their greenhouse while a male figure on the extreme right practises his archery skills.
Given that archery would not normally be categorised as an extreme sport it is elevated to such by placing his target at the end of the greenhouse, whereby he now has to ensure the safety of the two girls while aiming at the bullseye.
We also see the Pinocchio figure being tossed high, while the trees, from which all such puppets originate, are felled also destroying the puppet habitats high in the branches.
Steven never got to conclude this series but continued to work on them even up to the day before he was hospitalised.
As ever in his life Art was his mistress and often a cruel taskmaster but he would never have had it any other way.