Over sixty people joined artist, Fiona Campbell, on Saturday to see the fruits of her creativity after she took over the entirety of Shepton Mallet’s newest pop-up art space, Create@#8. At the Opening Event on Saturday, visitors to Fiona’s exhibition also enjoyed a soundscape created in response to her work by Ushara Dilrukshan.

Fiona’s residency began on 20th February and continues until 18 March. Visitors can see her work for a week from 11th-18th March, 10am-4pm, showcased in a solo exhibition with a range of suspended, wall-mounted and freestanding works in the empty shop space, including a few pieces from her Life in the Undergrowth project.

Two of Fiona’s works created this year will be exhibited in Wander_Land, a group show at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens and Gallery, 1st July-5th August 2023. Wander_Land features new sculpture from the South West about landscape and walking, by members of the Royal Society of Sculptors.

Fiona Campbell is an award-winning environmental artist who creates sculptural installations. Sustainability is a constant theme in her practice; wherever possible she uses reclaimed, discarded and found materials. She has created site-responsive work for interesting public spaces, reaching the wider public who may not have engaged with contemporary art before.

Fiona Campbell with sculpture Above and Below, solo exhibition at Create@#8.
(Russell Sach)

Fiona is currently developing new work as part of her Arts Council England ‘Developing Your Creative Practice Award’. The award supported her recent research trip to Kenya (Fiona’s place of birth and upbringing), where she re-connected with her roots and the Kenyan contemporary art scene.

Create@#8 is the brainchild of SMart, a community interest company set up to work with artists, organisations and other practitioners working in the arts and culture to promote Shepton Mallet as a vibrant, exciting and creative place to be. SMart took over the empty shop space in October 2022 as a community art space, thanks to the generosity of the landlord and support from Shepton Mallet Town Council.

Fiona Campbell is based in Somerset. She has an MFA from Bath Spa University. She was an Ingram Prize finalist, recipient of a Royal Society of Sculptors Gilbert Bayes Award, and received the Red Line Art Works Award for environmental installations Glut, Accretion, Snakes and Ladders. Snakes and Ladders was created as site-responsive work for B-Wing, an ACE-funded project Fiona co-curated in Shepton Mallet Prison, involving eight artists/writers and community events.

The large-scale installation interacted with the prison wing over three floors, later re-installed in Wells Cathedral. Last year, Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand, comprising multiple parts focused on the plight of pangolins (most trafficked mammal), was installed in Chichester Cathedral for Together We Rise, a group exhibition of Royal Society of Sculptors members, curated by Jacquiline Creswell.