U*Space is always challenging artist to think outside the box and continuously pushes artist to further explore their creative minds and intellectual elasticity. Once again this was the case with the Body Map exhibition. When I first read about the details of this exhibit, I figured I would just draw a body showing the major organs and bone structure similar to what you may find in an anatomy book, but more from an artistic viewpoint. I should have known that was not what Terence had in mind. This was an opportunity for me to be my own psychologist and to do a visual and internal self examination of myself and visually display my evaluation.
My approach to creating the map forced me to look into the mirror and begin tearing away the layers of false protection I'd built up over years until I reached the core or the truth of my own identity. Every layer of protection I pulled off would reveal to me different things that made me the person I am. Some of these things I am proud of and some things I had hiding behind layers for a reason. None the less, these finding are what I wanted to display in my map. Trying to be as transparent as possible and not worrying about the opinion of others.
"I have always felt as though I am more of an analytical type painter."
I like to think about what I'm painting and the images I'm going to use when completing a picture. In those situations I am usually analyzing other individuals and expressing my opinions of what I see from my point of view.
Creating the body map did not allow me to use others as a scapegoat. Creating the map was different from how I usually work. I was now looking and analyzing myself.
With this map being so personal, it did affect how I usually work. Generally when doing a painting I don't question my feelings or opinions on the image I'm composing. I just do it without worries or fear, not wondering if viewers will be in agreement or not. With this image being myself (internal and external), I guess there were times that I actually thought before placing the first thing that came to mind on the paper. Once I realized that I was being to cautious with the picture and worrying about what I was saying about myself, I then made a conscious effort to paint sporadically. Doing away with my normal routine of think then paint, I allowed my hands and the paint brush to act as the real time representative of my mind and thoughts. In other words, whatever entered my mind was transferred to the paper, there was no filtering involved in the process.
My map consists of negative and positive things that embody me as an individual. Inside the map you will find things that have caused the most pain throughout my life (both physically and mentally). The map shows my origin, where and when I was brought into this world. The map shows how I view myself and those things in life that are most important to me. I am shown holding a paint brush in my right hand because I feel that represents my calling or my gift from God. With that said religion plays a major role in my life and to show that I am a child of God a Halo was placed above my head. Some people may view me as different or some of the things I do as backwards. If those individuals would open their mind and take the time to look at things from a different perspective they will see that what may seem backwards or foreign has reason and purpose and will reveal itself to be genius. The Halo shows that I am a child of God but this does not make me without fault and imperfections. My imperfections and the pollutants of my body are represented by the black inside of my silhouette. The red dots on my hands and feet are a reminder to me that the black pollution inside of me can be cleansed and washed away. The squiggly blue lines inside my body show the chaos, trials and tribulations that beset me on a daily basis. The writing on my heart shows what’s truly important in my life. Thank you Terence for coming up with the idea of "THE BODY MAP."
A Georgia native, Eugene W.R. Campbell Jr. is indeed an artist who's work exemplifies the essence of true creativity. The past few years have seen Campbell reaching even further toward true artistic freedom with his work being showcased throughout the United States. Campbell graduated from Albany State University with honors and holds a BA in art.