Square Art Projects is pleased to present Stiletto, an online exhibition of recent works by the London-based artist Jennifer Caroline Campbell. This is the first solo exhibition of Campbell with Square Art Projects.
Jennifer Caroline Campbell’s colourful paintings stem from an ongoing practice of drawing, focusing on questioning and reflecting on cultural ideas around identity. The choice of material is important in Campbell’s work - she employs different, non- standard materials such as plasticine, foam, discarded cardboard and so on; ephemeral, precarious materials that tell their own stories. She’s keen to distance herself from traditional sculptor’s materials such as marble, preferring instead to imbue her work with the juxtapositioning that found materials afford her. Every single material that she uses in a piece is significant, like picking the colours for a painting, or the ingredients for a dish.
As footwear, stilettos have much to do with the wearer becoming an ornamental object,...alluding to Campbell’s engagement with the female experience. Stilettos can give the wearer power and beauty but also disempowerment and fragility. The word “stiletto” points both to an image, based on commercial allure, and a physical structure that alters the body. By physically elevating the wearer they are defying gravity and raising the body up in a precarious way.
The relationship between image and (bodily) physicality is an important thread in the work on show in Stiletto, raising questions and contradictions related to gender and the tricky-ness of female experience. Central to the exhibition is the fluidity of identity and the subjective experience, and how we tell ourselves stories about ourselves. Among her many influences are writers, particularly those who address subjective experience in the context of power, human relations, and hierarchies: Barbara Comyns, Octavia Butler, Zadie Smith, and Virginia Woolf.