Interview with mosaic artist, Brett Campbell.
Brett Campbell is a mosaic artist from
my area, the lovely Sunshine Coast, so I was thrilled when he agreed to
an interview. His work is amazing, some of the most beautiful mosaic art
you will see in Australia.
How and when did you become interested in mosaic art?
It was a tad under 5 years ago that I became interested, but Lesley had always been attracted to the art form. My interest came from actually making a piece, something I just did for fun.
What was it that attracted you to creating mosaics?
I think it would be fairer to say I became attracted to art, it was just that mosaics was the talking point within our home.
I have read that you used to be a bank manager, so how and why did the transition between banker and artist happen?
I think it had a lot to do with the fact I had become
totally disillusioned with my career and it ceased to have any meaning
The business is actually a family affair; can you explain how your wife, Lesley, and yourself work together?
Basically Lesley is involved at the concept and design
phase - most of our designs are a collaboration of some sort.
I know my kids would love helping with mosaics, do your kids ever get involved in your work?
Whilst our kids are all very interested in what we do, and have all completed some of their own work they don't have any direct involvement with the business. I'm way too fussy for that!
How did learn the basics of mosaic?
The hard way. I've never done any courses and had a
small booklet as my only reference to start with.
What are you working on right now?
A Mandala colouring book and a couple of mosaic commissions have just been finalised this week.
Where do you look for inspiration when you are about to start something new?
For my own work - nature. Forests, beaches, waterfalls
etc. It's a great excuse to get out and suck in what nature has to offer.
You live in one of the most beautiful places in Queensland (although I am biased), what effect does your location have on your art?
It has everything to do with my art. I've always loved nature and within 30 minutes I can get to several National Parks (I could walk to Kondalilla National Park) and dozens of great beaches or streams.
If you had to choose a favourite piece you have made what would it be?
That's almost too tough to answer. I guess "Forest Dawn" has the most meaning for me (a 5m x 2.1m wall), though I wouldn't consider it the best work technically.
What was the most difficult piece you have created and why?
I think "Vitruvian" - a male nude depicting Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. I nearly gave up on that one, due to the difficulty depicting the face, feet and hands within a limited space. It was a commission though, and I think obligation to the client got me through in the end. It's one of our most talked about pieces now.
What are the largest and smallest pieces you have made?
Oh, I've made small trivets (30cm x 30cm) up to a couple of wall sized murals of 10m2.