Jennifer Caroline Campbell
Jennifer Caroline Campbell is a painter, sculptor and installation artist who regularly shows work through public exhibitions, most recently at Atalante (Gothenburg), Transition Gallery (London), Outpost Gallery (Norwich) and the Alison Richards Building (Cambridge). She is a visiting lecturer at Arts University Bournemouth and Sussex College (Hastings).
Condition: Parkinson’s Disease
That shouldn’t be there.
Welcome the birds in, eyes sharply open.
Outside becomes inside becomes outside.
Interruptions shape life,
Quotes from participant with Parkinson’s
“I thought at the beginning it was my eyes playing me up. Then I began to realize it was something I was seeing that wasn’t there.”
“It’s always in the early hours of the morning, or sort of dusk time of the early evening. And I’ve got a habit of when I get out – I usually wake up about five o’clock in the morning for some reason. I get out of bed and I look out the window. And I could see children sitting on the roof. And I thought, you know, what are they doing up there? And that is the vision I get every time. A lot of people in my back garden like having, as though they’re having a garden party. And they’re dressed in sort of wartime clothes style, 1940s.”
“There’s a young girl, and she’s got a coat, that’s sort of belted, and a beret, on the back of her head. The coat is quite sort of, ends at mid leg. Yeah, but I can only see the back of her. I see a back view. I can’t see her face. And she never talks to me. There’s a little boy next to her. But then they’re facing me, but I can’t see their faces. I couldn’t recognize them. They’re sitting on the edge of the roof, swinging their legs.”
“I’m not bothered about it. I know they’re there. And I know they’re not there, if you know what I mean.”
“And sometimes if I look out the window in the lounge, […] and I can see animals. Birds paddling in puddles. Then I look closely as I think, ‘What the birds doing there at this time of day?’, and then I look again, and they’re not there.”
Daily Thought Intrusion
The human brain is just lumpy cell bundles, yet we are completely dependent on it: it is us.
It is not fixed like concrete but changeable like un-fired clay.
This hand has glossy green nails. It is the intruder but it is made of the same stuff as the thing that’s being intruded upon.
OR the hand is not the intruder, it embodies self-will: the sensation of shaping one’s own automatic thoughts, to intervene.
It draws the attention of the eye, who is trying not to look. OR is the eye controlling the hand.
These different readings question who is in control, which part of us.
Plastic Pony Chew Chase
This collaboration made me think into a younger me, silly hair clips, influenceable, hyper gendered, a product of her time.
My Little Pony: absurd mutated innocence.
OR she is a frog, ready to transform.
Something machine-like is threatening to chew her up. An aggressive shape or a computer console controller.
That feeling of being observed. By who? A future self or someone outside?
Sun setting, a daily cycle.
The repeating prize of a crown: a deserving gift I wish I could give to all who experience relentless voices.
The crown also symbolises perpetual power struggles and the aggression of internal dynasties.
The shapes behind are shifting and ungrounded. The red shadow reaches out of the painting, into the past and into the now.
We have to live with the unsolved, but this unsolved state can fluctuate. It can be shaped by changes of circumstance, encounters and the passing of time.
Quotes from participant with Schizophrenia
“I hear a voice in my head. That’s a girl talking to me. I also perceive that people can hear my thoughts.”
“Negative things about me, really. Things like, they’re always putting me down. And often I feel they’re saying things that aren’t true. […] It’s like a broken record though, it’s the same things, going around and around. And it’s the same arguments.”
“And I argue with it, I say well that’s complete rubbish […], but the voice always argues back with me. […] So it’s kind of like a daily battle […] And it bothers me, […] you know, I don’t want to hear these things, I don’t want to have these experiences, and I feel I shouldn’t be having them.”
“I do question it, I do question it, but I do always come back to perceiving that they’re real. It seems so real to me.”
“‘cause often in social situations I’ll kind of hear in the background as if someone is saying stuff and I’ll actually hear it, them saying stuff about me, if that makes sense? And sometimes I think it really is being said, and sometimes I think, you know, maybe not, maybe it’s just the tune in my head.”