2017 DeHaan Artist of Distinction
Since graduating from Herron School of Art + Design in 1989, Philip Campbell’s artistic practice has continued to evolve in response to his external environment. Starting with acrylic paintings on canvas, he then moved on to wood, bas-relief, carved paintings that people could touch and interact with. Campbell’s life experiences impact his work deeply, and they have led to successful solo and group exhibitions in Louisville, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, among other places. These experiences also influenced his proposed project for the DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award, which was to pursue a new exploratory body of textiles that directly deal with the intimate fear we all face by creating RF blocking, fiber optic, and stab and bullet proof quilts. Campbell explains that quits of the past were created “to protect us from the climate.” While for the most part infrastructure and technology now do just that, Campbell wanted to create modern quilts using 21st century materials that responded to dangers of the present, protecting us from “the cold and other threats to our bodies and our piece of mind.”
Campbell describes his project as visual, conceptual, and functional. “This project takes something from your home, an object that represents family, history, warmth, and comfort, things that give us confidence in the world, and elevates its protective qualities. It turns an iconic American symbol of home into a fine art/self-preservation too that is timely for the issues.”
The DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award allowed Campbell to create blankets addressing financial insecurity, by integrating spendable paper money into the design; digital privacy, by incorporating fabric that blocks radio frequencies, Wi-Fi, and cellphone signals; and threats of bombings and shootings, by incorporating layers of 3000 denier Kevlar.