Meet Peter Mikael Campbell, who came second in the 2018 Sasol New Signatures Art Competition.
Where does your passion for art come from? I feel that it is something very much hard-wired into my DNA! But this has been intensified by my enthusiasm for studying art and artists, and the joy of making art myself and sharing that with the world
Briefly describe your artistic journey up until the point of entering Sasol New Signatures.
I feel privileged to have grown up in Grahamstown where I was exposed to the Standard Bank National Festival for a decade and a half, as well as the Rhodes University culture in general. After school I lived in London for a couple of years and then decided to study Business Science at university. My mind was not wired for this particular discipline so I changed to Fine Art which encouraged my appreciation for visual language and unfettered creative expression. Once I graduated I moved to Cape Town and have continued to make work while founding and growing a jewellery design brand called A Bird Named Frank. Currently I am in the process of applying for a MFA at Michaelis, hopefully under Jane Alexander – fingers crossed.
What motivated you to enter the Sasol New Signatures art competition?
It’s a major competition with great exposure and the opportunity to exhibit at the Pretoria Arts Museum is a privilege. The prize money from the sponsors is also important as it would allow me to continue my studies.
What excites you about the creative process?
The phenomenon of emergence as well as the joy of seeing thoughts manifest into something tangible. I find that thinking in objects is a fascinating way of exploring thought.
Tell us about your preferred medium.
I don’t really have a preferred medium but I really love the sensation of carving wood and would like to explore that more. I also like the feel of clay in my hands.
Summarise your work in three independent words.
Subtle. Universal. Considered.
What is next for you as an artist?
I’m trying to find a buyer to bronze cast a huge Baroquesque Nietzschean allegorical sculpture that I sculpted.
What impact would winning this competition have on you?
The prize money would help fund my next art project as well as my MFA.