Thursday, February 04, 2016

The Daphne Series

While I was a student at the University of Washington School of Art (1977-1981), one of my school projects involved taking a mannequin deep into the woods around the Seattle area, and then fixing the mannequin onto a tree.

Once the figure was attached to a tree, I would either cover it in glue, or spray it with photo fix glue, and then cover it in tree mulch, bark, and dirt. Then I would completely glue pieces of bark to the figure, and thus make it "blend" onto the tree that it was affixed to. Eventually, the figure would be (at least visually) part of the tree, as if the figure was growing from the tree itself.

Most of these projects were done in Mt. St. Helen's as I had a school friend whose family lived at the bottom of the mountain, and it was thus convenient as he was my guide around the mountain's ape caves and trails). I suspect that all of them were destroyed by the volcanic eruption of St. Helen's on my wedding day in 1980.

I took many slides of the finished installations, but (because after art school I moved to Europe, and then returned in 1985 to go to postgraduate school, while I was at postgraduate school in California), I put about 30 boxes of books, and photos, and slides and clothes, etc. in storage with my then sister-in-law in Washington state.


Mujertrees
9x12 inches, 1979 Intaglio Etching
by F. Lennox Campello
Edition of 100 sold out

Then, while she was on vacation, a pipe in her house broke and flooded her basement for several days. Not only did I lose many, many slides of artwork, but also lot of art, all of my disco clothes (probably a good thing), plus a couple hundred books, including my copy of a hardbound first edition, first printing of Tarzan of the Apes (now worth a lot of big ones)... and no, insurance did not pay for it; none of it.

I do, however, still have some of the preparatory sketches that I did over the years, and the memories of my student artwork that has been twice wiped out by the forces of nature, as if upset that I was re-arranging and humanizing nature. The etching above - titled Mujertrees - was the start of the idea... I made 100 etchings at printmaking class at the University of Washington and then sold all of them at the Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Over the years since, I've continued the idea; see below:


Mujertree Roots
12x9 inches
1994 Pen and Ink by F. Lennox Campello
In a private collection in Virginia Beach, VA


Mujertree Couple
8x11 inches
1995 Pen and Ink by F. Lennox Campello
In a private collection in Virginia


Mujertree (Assisted)
12x9 inches
1995 Pen and Ink by F. Lennox Campello
In a private collection in Norfolk, VA


Mujertree Forest
8x11 inches
1994 Pen and Ink by F. Lennox Campello
In a private collection in New York


"Mujertree with Broken Arms" (from Daphne series) circa 1980.
Pen and Ink. 10 x 8 inches.
Collection of the Artist


"Mujertree Forest" circa 1995
Pen and Ink. 8x10 inches.
In a private collection in Virginia


"Mujertree Forest"
Circa 2000 - Unfinished
Pen and Ink. 8x12 inches.
In a private collection in California
Daphne by F. Lennox Campello
"Daphne" circa 1995, Charcoal on Paper, 30 x 20 inches.
Private Collection in Richmond, VA

Those nature installations and the subsequent drawings and etchings were part of what I call the "Daphne Series," and which continues to this day, mostly now in drawings and etchings (above and below).


Daphne by F. Lennox Campello
"Daphne" circa 1994, Charcoal on Paper, 40 x 30 inches.
Private Collection in Charlottesville, VA
"Mujertree Rising" (from Daphne series) circa 1996
Charcoal on Paper. 10 x 8 inches.
In a private collection in Chevy Chase, MD
"Daphne"
circa 2004
Charcoal on Paper. 14x9 inches.
In a private collection in London, UK
"Daphne"
circa 2007
Charcoal on Paper. 7x9 inches.
In a private collection in Washington, DC
"Apollo as Daphne (Gaea Missed) - from Daphne series"
circa 2008
Charcoal on Paper. 11x8  inches.
In a private collection in New York
 "Daphne"
circa 1993
Charcoal on Paper. 20 x 14 inches.
In a private collection in Virginia Beach, VA

"Daphne (version II)"
circa 2004
Charcoal on Paper. 16x11 inches.
In a private collection in New York
 "Daphne"
circa 1997
Charcoal on Paper. 16x11 inches.
In a private collection in Reston, VA

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