Nathalie Campion: Connecting to Nature
TLmag spoke to Nathalie Campion about her practice and connection to nature: ”I lived and worked according to the rythm of nature rather than time”.
Nathalie Campion had a deep connection with nature growing up. Today, the Brussels-based artist finds intrinsic links of nature that feed into her work. The material of choice of Campion is ceramics, which allows her to work with the natural intimacy of touch. TLmag spoke to her about her practice and participation in the show Threads of Nature and Spazio Nobile Gallery.
TLmag: I’ve noticed your interest in nature, could you elaborate on this ‘bond’ you have with the outside world?
Nathalie Campion (N.C.): When I was little I enjoyed worlds of tales and legends, whether it was enchanting or demonic, and the forest is an ideal place to explore that imagination. Often alone and not inclined to enrich me intellectually, I went to the woods to build things. I lived and worked according to the rhythm of nature rather than time. In a way, my practice brought me back to the woods as I started ceramics.
TLmag: Could you elaborate a bit more on your choice of materials? There seems to be a link with your connection to nature as well…
N.C.: I seek the limits of the material, currently I’m focused on ‘the earth’. In my hands, the wet clay shapes itself through the intimacy of touch, empathy, animistic trust, and sensual, fragile strength. Although I believe that it is me who shapes the clay, it is in fact the material that dictates my movements. In my process, I see the material and myself in an intimate relationship, it is at this moment that we take care of each other.
TLmag: Your work in the show at Spazio Nobile found shape in glazed ceramics. With the exhibition narrative going into the relationship between humans and the planet, how do you think your work adds to this narrative?
N.C.: I believe nature has a contradictory identity, it is free and a prisoner to humans at the same time. We can feel its loneliness and insecurity, it’s dependent on how humans look at it. In my sculptures, these contradictions meet. A stump is a source, resilient and majestic. Contemporary times might make us believe that nature is weak, however, I believe it is unstoppable.
TLmag: How do you think your work, and in turn the exhibition Threads of Nature, is contextualized by the current covid-19 pandemic?
N.C.: In a film I made not too long ago, I was also concerned with the attempt to manipulate nature. I have the feeling that it will be painful to let this go. I would like to see humans identify with nature instead of wanting to ‘own’ it, to be anchored in the earth, conscious of this primordial, interdependent exchange, the one nourishing the other.
The exhibition Threads of Nature is on show at Spazio Nobile Gallery until 18.07.2021.