Art / Craft Scotland / Collect 2023
"There we have a collective of studios and makers working and recently set up a small Gallery called the Hayshed Gallery so there is always a creative buzz going on and lots of inspiration."
Eve Campbell is a designer and maker based in Argyll on the west coast of Scotland who primarily works with printed textiles, wallhangings, ceramics and drawing. Inspired by Scottish nature and architecture, Eve creates work driven by intuitive and bold designs to enhance living spaces.
Hi Eve, thank you for talking with The New Current. Congratulations on being part of Craft Scotland at Collect 2023! Are you excited to be part of such an impressive lineup of Scottish-based Makers?
There is such a wealth of craft in Scotland so I am really excited to be representing it alongside such an exciting group of exceptionally talented makers who are pushing the boundaries of their practice.
Will there be any nerves ahead of Collect 2023, or do you think you are going to be able to relax and enjoy the whole experience?
Now that the work is all made and I am delighted my pieces, the pressure is off and I am only excited for Collect. I can’t wait to get down to London, see what everyone has been making and just enjoy the show.
How essential are creative opportunities like Craft Scotland and Collect 2023?
For me opportunities like these create a drive to produce fresh, new work that pushes boundaries in my practice. I want the work to be the best representation of what I can do so I push myself both technically and creatively to do so. Today when work can exist entirely online it is vital to come together with other makers and show in person to connect with people, grow your market and let people have real life experiences with your work. Opportunities like these give life to my practice and keep me motivated.
What more do you think can be done to champion and support future independent Makers?
There are many things that could be done to support future independent makers however one thing affects me and I believe would benefit many others is access to plenty of space. As a screen printed space allows you to really explore and create. Space facilitates freedom to move and produce however today space is sparse and costly and prevents makers from pushing their work. More support and facilitating affordable space would allow artists like myself to reach our full potential.
Could you take me through the pieces you are going to showcase at Craft Scotland and Collect 2023?
The inspiration for the collection comes from Caladh Harbour, a small Scottish re- mote harbour near my studio in Tighnabruaich. Here a large house once stood but since its demolishment Caladh has returned to an almost wild state. If you look hard enough there are still hints of its existence like the family graveyard on the island with stones carved into ships, moss covered staircases and carved rocks, rows of cherry trees amongst the natural woodland and a lily pond deep in the woods. My collection for collect is a series of 5 large scale screen printed using paper stencils onto linen that capture the shapes, colours and patterns of the features of Caladh that make you question what was once there and a reminder that nature has a way of taking over leaving only traces behind.
Have you always had a passion for textiles?
I have. I was brought up surrounded by art, design and making, in the house my architect grandfather built. Both my mum and dad are artists and also went to the Glasgow School of Art. We were always making as children and I learnt to draw through watching my parents as they worked. After being introduced to screen printing I fell in love and received my first screen for my 10th Birthday. From then on my drive was always to have my own screen printing workshop.
How did you develop your large-scale paper stencilled, screen printed wall hanging technique?
Collaging was a technique I took to when making and drawing from early on and it was a skill that I was able to adapt for screen printing. I like screen printing with pa- per stencils as I can work the wallhangings as if they are an extension of my sketchbook and drawings. I can create them in a spontaneous manner, creating the designs as I print. Wallhangings allowed me to work at scale and with an interest in architecture I wanted to bring the shapes and patterns I created to interior spaces. Using fabric to decorate these spaces enables me to do so.
What was your time like at the Glasgow School of Art?
I had an amazing experience at art school and would very happily go back and do it all again. As a child I regularly visited the Mackintosh to see degree shows and attend Saturday classes. Getting to experience the amazing spaces and creative atmosphere, inspired me to apply for the course in Textile Design. I enjoyed the freedom of studying there and I loved being around fun, creative people every day.
What interested you about Tighnabruaich where you have set up your printshop, and does being on the Cowal peninsula offer you a lot of creative inspiration?
In 2018 I built my workshop at Carry Farm, where my family are based, just south of Tighnabruaich on the shores of the Kyles of Bute. My studio is built within an agricultural shed above my parents workshops, Dreyworkshop. There we have a collective of studios and makers working and recently set up a small Gallery called the Hayshed Gallery so there is always a creative buzz going on and lots of inspiration. As a result of being situated on the shore of the Kyles of Bute surrounded by heath and natural woodland, I am continually inspired by my surroundings. I regularly take my sketchbook up into the woods or to the beach to capture the shapes, colours and patterns that nature has to offer.
What top 3 tips would you offer someone wanting to get into textiles?
Be open to all opportunities. Make lots. It is not only about knowing what works for you but figuring out what doesn’t. Most importantly have fun!
And finally, what would you like to take away from being part of Craft Scotland at Collect 2023?
The reach of collect is wide spread, bringing together artists, collectors, and professionals from across the industry so I am looking forward to creating new connections and showing my work along with some of the worlds’ finest craft.