Estella Campavias (1918 - 1990)

Estella Campavias is an unusually gifted sculptor. Her work bears that rare but unmistakable
quality of total harmony between spirit, hand and clay in the creation of each individual piece,
and because this blend of elements is so subtle and complex, each sculpture can communicate
in many different ways with the onlooker. Some of the impressions are paradoxical: for example,
there is a stillness and peacefulness inherent in the work, whilst at the same time many of the
sculptures also successfully convey the idea of flowing movement, or of imminent movement.

The marvellous and indefinable state between the abstract and the figurative, which is Miss
Campavias's domain, allows the sculpted forms an ambivalence of content which is perhaps
best seen in the 'couples'. Here there is a oneness which does not deny the two figures in the
composition: an ambiguity of mass, yet always a great clarity of line; and, as with all the artist's
work, a silent eloquence which leaves its mark on the visitor long after the immediate experience
has passed.

l must thank Lisa Henderson and Robert Bird for drawing my attention to Miss Campavias while
her sculpture was on show at Worcester Cathedral last year. The beauty and tranquillity of her
creations should be shared with as wide an audience as possible, and l hope this exhibition will
hasten the inevitable acceptance of Miss Campavias as one of the most significant sculptors working
in this country at the moment.

Peter Vigurs,
Keeper of Fine Art, Curator, Wolverhampton City Museum and Art Gallery

estella-campavias--2009---by-roy-oppenheim.pdf [74 KB]

campavias-financ-times-nov-14-1981.pdf [3'419 KB]