Orlando Campbell's inaugural solo show at Serena Morton Gallery is a burst of uplifting colour, offering a witty interpretation of the uncertainty during lockdown. Aptly titled Post Pandemic Colour, the exhibition showcases his new paintings and sculptures made in his studio in France over the lockdown period.
Influenced by the 1960s American Color Field artists, including Kenneth Noland and Ellesworth Kelly as well as tricolour flags Campbell said: ‘When I start a painting I have a rough idea in my head about the shape and colours but nothing is tested, it is vaguely random. I have done it so often that I can visualise the finished painting whilst stretching the canvas. All I have to do is switch on the TV and close the curtains…This approach is probably the opposite of most artists and who knows what a constant stream of TV garbage could have done to improve the impressionists’ colour.’!
Campbell’s playfulness and colour immediately drew Serena Morton to his work. Raised in a family of painters and art collectors, the gallerist began her art career at Christie’s, became one of the ‘most prolific pop-up curators in London’ and is renowned for co-directing Ronnie Wood’s art gallery ‘Scream’. We spoke to Serena about what initially drew her to Campbell’s work and the power of art.
How did you first come across Orlando’s work and what resonated with you?
Synchronicity! An old school friend and Orlando’s partner reached out to me in close succession. I love painting and colour, and my gallery focuses on mid-career artists, who have a connection to London or the UK.
How would you describe Post Pandemic Colour?
Colourful and symmetrical paintings, witty and elegantly executed! The very title points to life after the Pandemic, something we are all currently fixated on.
What’s your favourite piece in the exhibition?
4 Circle Curly Wurly 1, I love the form and colours and it is a great size (130 x 130cm). My eye moves constantly around the shape and the colours make me feel good. I have installed it in the gallery window so that the public can enjoy it.
Creatives, artists and galleries alike have all struggled over the lockdown period with no exhibitions or events. Why would you say it is so important to support the arts now more than ever?
Art gives meaning to our lives and helps us to understand our world. Art heals, educates, informs, influences and entertains. Galleries provide income for artists and we very much need support right now.
Post Pandemic Colour is currently showing and has been extended until 28th August at the Serena Morton Gallery.