+May 07, 2020
Like most of her projects, Campbellâ€™s Archive started randomly â€“ Anna Huix sees opportunities everywhere, she is fast-paced, gutsy and is the perfect example of how a person can, in a sense, create their own luck. The editorial and advertising photographer, who spent last year working on a year-long project for UBS (the previous photographer to cover the campaign for UBS was the legendary Annie Leibovitz) was sent by a magazine to photograph someone at the Fashion and Textile Museum. After the assignment, Anna stuck around to watch the group showâ€¦ she fell in love with a pattern on the runway which was created for one of the large fashion houses, this led her to investigate who was behind the pattern, and this led her to Sarah Campbell.
About a week later, Anna was sipping on tea and eating cookies with Sarah (the creator of the design that caught her eye) in her house. Her studio, which is in her house, is reminiscent of a painter's studio. She paints and repeats the patterns. Her canvas of choice is fabrics. Sarah, still to this day, sometimes wakes up at 3am in the morning with flashes of inspiration and promptly gets up, gets the paintbrushes out and starts creating. Sarah creates for the pure joy of itâ€¦ and doesnâ€™t feel the need to show/share her work. And that may very well be the secret to longevity in the industry, perhaps, in any industry.
Collier Campbell was the design partnership that started over 50 years ago with her sister, Susan Collier. And although Sarah is now working on a new project - her sister passed away a few years ago â€“ the designer invited Anna to photograph the archive, which is locked away in storage in Rye. The storage space was more like a candy store for Anna. It was filled with original paintings, rolls of fabrics and garments â€“ it was a photographer's dream. Each box was a treasure trove just waiting to be discovered and she had two days to play with the entire archive, this series is the result of her excavation. In a few of the images in the series you can see the fabrics coming to life, as the rolls of fabric from the background appear to take on a three dimensional form, almost as if the patterns, the art, is coming to life.
Itâ€™s almost as if Anna has captured the full cycle of the creative process. From inception to the tangible realized pieces. In the image below we are given a glimpse into the various stages of Sarah Campbellâ€™s working process â€“ thereâ€™s the sketch that comes first (maybe this was another one of those 3am flashes of creativity?), then the roll of fabric which can be seen in the background, and in the foreground, the finished garments - swimsuits, visor caps and luggage. Sarah was excited to see her previous work being reinterpreted in these images and this image rather unique, as it feels like a portrait of a process. Itâ€™s almost like being in someone elseâ€™s mind - it is a rare, colourful and beautiful sight.
You can feel the inspiration and awe flowing through the photographer and into the image - thereâ€™s adoration and respect for the work laid before our eyes. Sarah Campbell, the designer, is not interested in fame or accolades or money or any other form of external recognition, and as such hasnâ€™t showcased her art as widely as Anna believes it should be. The photographer was partly inspired to create the series, as thereâ€™s all this incredible work out there but no one gets to see it or appreciate it. Anna is breathing new life and bringing to light hidden gems, so that the works, which spans over five decades, can be enjoyed by and perhaps even inspire a new generation of designers.
Photographer: Anna GonzÃ¡lez-huix MirÃ³: www.annahuix.com
Stylist: Carol Gamarra: https://www.carolgamarra.com/