Whether you’ve seen her work within a gallery, chic interiors or being worn by the fashion set, Elle Campbell’s cloth is cut for success.
As the saying goes, you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’ take the country out of the girl. The daughter of a farmer and a creative arts teacher, Elle Campbell is a bonafide product of her environment – possessing a love of the land, a passion for creative arts and, of course, a cracking work ethic thanks to her upbringing on a WA farm.
The influence in her art is unmistakable. Elle’s signature style is transporting snapshots of the land – from the bright white coastline of Lancelin and inland to Dandaragan’s wheatbelt – onto fine silks and linen. The result is a deeply personal transmission of childhood memories and a longing for these rural landscapes, which is near palpable.
“It’s a narration of the sights and landscapes I was able to experience growing up in rural Western Australia,” the Perth artist says. “The intrinsic elements of our precious land speak deeply to me in the form of an emotive dialogue and memory of my childhood, and still form a strong part of my identity now.”
Bold, tactile and brimming with raw energy, the striking body of artworks in her latest collection, RAINBOW OPAL ROCKS, forms what Elle admits was a coming-of-age exhibition. In particular, her late father shines
through in her works.
“My dad played an inspiring part, and my mum in educating and sharing with my sister and I the beauty and importance of our home land and environment of Western Australia,” Elle says.
While she is yet young in the industry, she has already established a signature style using oversized silk or linen as her canvas. Her works have become known for their daring hues and finishes, drawing on a range of
mediums including enamel, acrylic paint, chalks and oil pastels.
“For me it’s all about painting cloth and creative collaboration,” she says. “The physicality of painting various weaves and fibres is what makes up part of my thrill and drive to produce.”
It is this deft skill with the fabric medium in particular that has seen her find success across art, fashion and interiors. A graduate of fashion and textile design, Elle boasts an extensive list of initiatives and collaborations.
She is working with high-end avant-garde retail fashion boutique DILETTANTE on a range of custom designed clothing, and recently signed an exclusive
print contract with renowned east coast interior designer Julia Green, of Greenhouse Interiors. Collaborations with the likes of Ferguson Foundry, Milieu Creative, STYLEAID, Home Base, The Montauk Lighting Co., Meghan Plowman, designFARM, MECCA Brands, Mobilia, Telstra Perth Fashion Festival, Design Theory, Urban Couture, and FORM have all contributed to what has been a landmark year for the artist.
Indeed, 2017 has culminated in Elle being selected as a finalist in one of Australia’s richest portraiture schemes – the prestigious Black Swan Prize – exhibited in the Art Gallery of WA. Elle’s piece is an evocative, largescale silk portrait of renowned Western Australian fashion creative and STYLEAID icon Aly May.
“I am sincerely humbled to be showing work among an incredibly skilled and talented list of Australian artists,” Elle says. “To be able to document Aly May’s powerful life experience through portraiture
still gives me chills.
“It makes me feel so proud and honoured to have the opportunity to share the inspiring human characteristics and spirit of Aly May,” she says.
Adding to the list of milestones, Elle has also opened her own gallery space in the bustling heart of West Perth. The space has been home to various artisans over the past century, a tradition that Elle
intends to uphold.
“Collaborative projects welcoming creatives into the space offers a collective way forward, for both a wider creative community spirit and also for growth within small business,” Elle explains.
The light-filled 1900’s character building offers the perfect backdrop for viewing art – high ceilings, original ornate pressed tin ceilings, and plenty of space for large-scale works. It offers a painting space, weekly life-drawing classes, and is available for private hire.
“I thrive in a positive space to conceptualise and output what it is I feel,” the artist says. “Having a space to practice this is vital to optimum expression and growth as a creative.” Elle’s “pay it forward” wisdom – her advocacy for creative collaboration and her desire to nurture other Perth creatives – is refreshing in what could be considered a fiercely competitive industry. However, she attributes her own success to the support she received on her journey. “We are incredibly lucky to have a wealth of inspiring, passionate, experienced and incredibly skilful industry leaders and mentors who are willing to guide the creative youth forward with education and support,” she says. “It is thanks to these passionate mentors that there are so many young creatives thriving, or coming home to WA.”
Elle Campbell Showroom
458 Newcastle Street, West Perth 6005