My Weekend: Work often creeps in... when it's going well and the adrenaline is there you don't want to stop

Sculptor Anne Campbell, a graduate of Cork’s Crawford Art College, is one of 19 artists showcasing their work at the ‘Reawakening’ outdoor sculpture exhibition at the Montenotte Hotel until September 26
My Weekend: Work often creeps in... when it's going well and the adrenaline is there you don't want to stop

Sculptor Anne Campbell whose work is showcasing in Reawakening at The Montenotte Hotel, Cork City until September 26.

TELL us a little bit about yourself and your work.

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. 

I’m getting a lot more of my own work done and can honestly say that I love and am passionate about what I do.

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.

Running Hare, by Anne Campbell
Running Hare, by Anne Campbell

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

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.

Lie ins or up with the lark — which is it for you?

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.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

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 money was no object, where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

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 Wuthering Heights. 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.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to to recharge the batteries?

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.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends on the weekend?

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.

I Spy, by Anne Campbell
I Spy, by Anne Campbell

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

My passion is art and creating sculptures — I am so blessed that I get to do what I love.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the former, do you have a signature dish?

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.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork, where are your go-to spots for coffee/lunch/special meal?

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 comes around too fast. How do you normally spend it?

Sunday night is usually me getting my work clothes and lunches together.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

The alarm goes off at 6am and another mad week begins.

Tall Horses by Anne Campbell
Tall Horses by Anne Campbell

What are you up to at the moment?

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.

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