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Brian Campbell: Head Above the Water

Hell and High Water 4 cropped website

Brian Campbell, Hell and High Water, 2020

Brian Campbell: Head Above The Water | Holt Gallery

8 May - 8 August 2021 

An accomplished painter, printmaker, surfer, musician and poet, Brian Campbell was born in Christchurch but as a young man quickly decamped to Gisborne where he remains, both physically and metaphorically “living on the edge of the world”.

Campbell has for more than 40 years worked on building a darkly funny imaginary world using satire, fantasy and humour to contemplate some serious, possibly even profound, questions.

For the Head Above the Water exhibition created for Hastings City Art Gallery, Campbell has delivered some of the most substantial works of his career, taking viewers on a journey with a recurring cast of characters – along with some new ones – who he commissions to help relay his commentary on contemporary life.

Tackling issues from conspiracy theories to climate change, Campbell’s work mines the animal in us all as he monkeys around with our cultural pretensions in a voice steeped in humorous affection for humankind.

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