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Nathalie Campion

Nathalie Campion, born in 1964, is a distinguished visual artist hailing from the Belgian Ardennes. From her early days, Campion was drawn to the sanctuary of nature, which offered her a sense of freedom, protection, and vitality. Her artistic journey began with clay, establishing a deep and nurturing connection that has profoundly influenced her work. Campion's creations capture the complex and dualistic character of the environment—simultaneously unsettling and captivating. Her art delves into the intricate relationship between the memory embedded in nature and the vast potential of the human spirit. This exploration sparks a dialogue on profound dialectics, setting the stage for a meditation on rebirth and transformation. Utilizing a range of artistic mediums—including performance, sculpture, and drawing—Campion penetrates the essence of transgenerational emotional memory and the realm of the dreamlike unconscious. Her work weaves a poetic and sensory narrative that uncovers the deep symbiosis between nature and humanity, unveiling the enigmatic interconnections that lie beneath. As she continues to evolve her artistic practice, Campion challenges conventional paradigms, pushing the limits of her imagination. This process of artistic subversion leads to a transformative rupture from which intimate fragments of the self are revealed, akin to the layers found beneath a tree’s bark. The fragments of her art, rich with multiple heritages, are inspired by her personal history, natural organic forms, and various artistic influences. Through her pieces, she offers a contemplation on the themes of human strength and vulnerability, inviting viewers to reflect on the delicate balance that defines our existence.

From Isolation to Protection

I’m a ceramist first and foremost, but I wanted to do something else at Le Charbonnage. I usually prefer to do something different during a residency, but I didn’t really know what that would be until I got there. Actually, I was afraid to draw, but I’m happy I did it. I allowed myself to try what I wanted to try. 

When I arrived, I first took a lot of pictures of my surroundings at Le Charbonnage – all pictures had pairs of things: two windows, two chairs, two pieces of clothing on the floor. Then I did all those tests that didn’t mount to anything. And then I hung a large sheet of paper on the wall, which ended up turning into a self-portrait. Then I drew a plan of the residency’s garden. That’s how I came to the first part of Self-Portrait: From Isolation to Protection. And in the end, it all added up to a work of art, an in-situ installation of the place through this diptych and the remnants of my research.

There was no goal or finish line to reach. I just wanted to think and experiment without the pressure of needing a clear output. And I have to say, I was surprised by how happy I was to work on paper. 


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