I am Anna Campbell, an Irish sculptor from Newry, Co Down, surrounded by the Mourne Mountains on one side and the Cooley Mountains on the other, and blessed for it.
I attended the Crawford Art College in Cork in the early ’90s and studied sculpture.
The minute I entered Crawford for the interview, I knew wanted to stay. I immediately felt at home and fell in love with Cork — there is something so vibrant and unique about the city and its people. The brilliantly talented PJ O’Sullivan and Peter McTigue taught me stone carving and my second love, print, was taught to me by the master printer Tony McClure.
I am so delighted to be back in Cork this weekend — it’s like a home away from home.
From college I went to work in Pangolin Editions in the Cotswolds, another beautiful spot.
From there, I’ve been working in Cast Ltd in Dublin ever since, part time now.
My work has mostly been exploring form, using animal form as a source.
At times, events in my life would inspire work. ‘My Protection’ and ‘Fragile State’ came about after my mum and dad passed away. Other work — ‘Musical Curio’ and ‘Captured spirit’ — came from my love of the Victorian glass domes capturing still life.
I specialise in bronze sculptures and am very fortunate to have received awards for my work, including the Penn Chemicals Cork award, the Iontas small works exhibition award and the sculpture in context award.
I have been very lucky to have exhibited my work extensively throughout Ireland and England over the years, and am delighted to be showcasing some of my work in Cork at the ‘Reawakening’ sculpture exhibition at the Montenotte Hotel for the second year in a row.
Friday night is relaxing, catching up with telly. If I’m working on something of my own, then it’s bed early and no weekend break.
I don’t really do lie ins as I’ve four dogs to walk. Although sometimes when I’m really tired, I open my back door, leave it open, go back to bed and let them run around the garden. It’s a large garden, they do a few laps and jump back on to the bed.
Work often creeps into weekends. I’ve found myself missing lots of events due to work, but when it’s going well and the adrenaline is there, you don’t want to stop.
If I could go anywhere, I’d love to see Rome or Venice. I’d like to go back to New York.
If I could bring anyone, it would be the late Laurence Olivier when he was in. I fell in love with him in that film — dark and brooding and passionately in love with Kathy. Richard E Grant would also be entertaining. He’s witty, intelligent and comes across so well. The American actor Josh Harnett because, well just because he’s Josh Harnett.
I love the sea. Im lucky to have Meath and Carlingford on one side and Warrenpoint and Cranfield beach very close on the other. Tullymore and Slieve Gullion to get lost in the forests in all seasons. And I recently found Bloody Bridge outside Newcastle in Co Down. Lots to rest the mind.
My siblings and daughter Aoife live close by. I’m very close to them. We meet up regularly. Aoife is great at patina and has helped me when I need a hand with my own work.
My passion is art and creating sculptures — I am so blessed that I get to do what I love.
I can’t cook. I’ve burnt soup and destroyed lots of pots. So the idea is to live with a good cook. He can do all the cooking; I’ll do the washing up.
Thankfully my daughter is a great cook.
I’ve eaten in Brick Lane in Cork city. Good food and atmosphere. Good Day Deli at Nano Nagle Place I hear is worth a visit; I must stop by soon.
When I’m at home, the best place by far is the Leafy Green cafe in Warrenpoint. Truly amazing vegan food, from bread to delicious desserts. Tony who owns it is a blast and I love going in. Also I believe that we should all support our local businesses.
Sunday night is usually me getting my work clothes and lunches together.
The alarm goes off at 6am and another mad week begins.
I am exhibiting my work at the Montenotte Hotel, Cork, as part of the ‘Reawakening’ exhibition in the Victorian gardens, in association with The Kildare Gallery. This showcase includes over 45 sculptures from 19 Irish artists.
I am so grateful to their team and The Kildare Gallery for this opportunity. Ken and Ruth of The Kildare Gallery are so hard working and have been a great support to many artists — plus they are friends by now and it’s always been a pleasure and easy to deal with them.
The Montenotte Hotel is a real gem in Cork. It’s so good to get pampered and the rooms are fabulous — plus that view over Cork, you wouldn’t get it anywhere else.
- Anna Campbell’s sculptures are available to view and purchase at ‘Reawakening’. The outdoor exhibition at the Montenotte Hotel, in association with The Kildare Gallery, is open daily from 10am. Visitors are asked to register with the hotel reception to be directed to the exhibition. You will also find Anna’s work at the OPW collection in Farmleigh House and Estate, Dublin; The AIB collection at Crawford Art Gallery, University College Cork; and Wexford County Council.
- For more information, visit TheMontenotteHotel.com.
- For information on the collections and artists, and for sales enquiries, contact The Kildare Gallery on email@example.com or visit TheKildareGallery.ie.