Artist And Fashion Designer Elle Campbell On What Inspires Her
A sneak peek into the artist and fashion designer's life in Perth.
A Jill of all trades, artist and fashion designer Elle Campbell has dabbled in almost every facet of the art and design world. Firmly backing cross-disciplinary creativity, Campbell finds her strength in authentically and effortlessly moving across the fields that she is most passionate about.
Raised on a property in Dandaragen by a dance, drama, music and arts teacher mother, and farming father, Campbell had no shortage of creative influence in her younger years.
“I grew up on a farm with that element of ‘go out and play in the dirt, go make your own games with the trees and the land, and come home when it gets dark,” says Campbell said.
“I was always encouraged to create and explore and try out; all of which are the core elements to working in the creative industries.”
After a 10-year stint as a makeup artist, and completing studies in both multimedia design and fashion and textile design, it was ultimately the passing of Campbell’s father that catapulted her in to the streams that she follows today.
“Losing my dad a couple of years ago really put things in to perspective for me, and I went ‘right, what do I want to do, and how am I going to do that?” says Campbell.
“Being a makeup artist was an incredible job to have because not only was I able to pay my bills, but I had my hands in colour and texture and makeup on a daily basis. It was pretty much what I am doing now with painting – working with colours, working with textures, with shapes and visions – but it was just on people’s faces rather than silks and linens. But, it has come the time now that I really only want to do what I absolutely love, because life is way too short not to.”
For Campbell, that now means focusing on her core passion – painting cloth. Be it stretched silk on a canvas or a hand painted linen dress, the core creative process remains unchanged across her visual art and fashion design.
“There is a lot of meaning on my part personally, mentally, emotionally, and professionally, in my art process. There is a lot that is tied to the physical and mental of actually painting cloth,” she says.
Although only just recently moving in to her new studio and opening an exhibition, Campbell is already looking to 2018. With more art and another capsule collection on the horizon, she aims to create more awareness about the importance of exploring fluid movement between creative categories.
When Campbell isn’t busy painting and sewing, these are her favourite things to do in Perth.
Elle Campbell on Perth’s best up and coming designers
“I love MATANGI by Monique Parr, KIETH SIM by Kieth Sim, and IT’S BRONTE! by Bronte Sawyer. Bronte is a homegrown Fremantle girl who studied in Northbridge, and has recently finished a placement with Sydney label Romance Was Born. Bronte hand dyes and sews incredible silk net frilled dresses and tops. Each garment is so unique and yummy.”
The best Perth galleries
“My top 3 would have to be Art Collective WA, Studio281 Gallery and PICA.”
The best free activities in Perth
“I crave being submerged in ice cold, salty water the minute the sun comes out in Perth. Our beaches are incredible and I love beach mornings with sand, the dog, a continental roll and some great company in toe. A beach sunset, fish and chips and a beverage (or two) is my kind of blissful also.
“I adore eating, walking, listening and laying in Hyde Park as a meditative break in between work, work, work, work, work. I also live for the moments when we can take pooch to the beach or park.”
The best pieces of street art to hunt down in Perth
“I can’t go past a wall done by Anya Brock without huge admiration. One of my favourites by her is the bunch of local birds, sitting under the tunnel bridge in Claremont. Straker’s neon-graffitti around town is amazing too. My favourite one in Mt Lawley got knocked down, but there are still plenty around. I also love Daek William’s tiki girl in Northbridge, and Amok Island’s salt water croc on Brisbane St in Northbridge is beautiful.”
The best Perth brunch spots
“Cecchi’s, located on Beaufort St in Inglewood, is an Italian oasis in my hood. When sitting in their fruit tree filled courtyard as the butterflies bounce around and as the sun comes out to play, I actually feel like I am back in the mesmerising Italy. Another brunch time favourite for me is CHU Bakery. Note: when eaten on the grass across the road in Hyde Park, your serotonin levels will explode. And, who could go past the incredible family run Mary Street Bakery? Any of their locations are divine! Betty and Dave’s on the corner of Beaufort and Central is also very, very delicious.”
The best bars for a casual drink in Perth
‘I love Cecchi’s and their home made ginger potion. Clarences and the Scotto (The Flying Scottsman) – which are both in Mount Lawley – hold a dear place in my heart too. In my eyes, they are both institutions.’
Read more of our local’s guides to Perth here.
(All images: Elle Campbell Photo: Chantel Concei)
Published 27 October, 2017