Erica Campitelli first fell in love with painting in high school, under the teachings of Michelle Root. It was all about Monet until Klimt, Pollock, Krasner and De Kooning were introduced. Her appreciation for art only grew as the years passed, expanding a personal preference for impressionism to that of abstract expressionism. She took a few art courses at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto, although her specialization is in Socio-Cultural Anthropology. Erica believes that we are our experiences. Inspired by her everyday surroundings, from conversations with strangers, to viewing other bodies of work, to hiking, influence takes on many forms.
In the last two years she has exhibited her work at the Artsideout Festival at UTSC, the Annual Juried Exhibit at UTSC, the Toronto Art Crawl in Liberty Village, The Freedom Factory’s Pop Up on Queen East, Queen West Art Crawl in Trinity Bellwoods, Slanted Door on Bloor West, Paula White Diamond Art Gallery in Waterloo, Ebar in Guelph, Art a la Carte at the Legislative Building in Toronto, Mercury Espresso in Leslieville and The Starving Artist on Mount Pleasant.
Abstract painting is my way of being present. It allows me to shut out all distractions while I explore motion and colour. In the studio I give no consideration to time or its constraints. I don’t think, I do. And, while I never start with a pre-conceptualized vision, once a painting is complete I can make sense of it and find meaning. With a canvas I take something that is blank and create a personal narrative. Whatever I am wrestling with gets sorted, resolved, alleviated or elevated. So, for me, painting is a form of meditation, an escape, and ultimately my therapy.
There is a quote by Thomas Merton that resonates with me. He states that, “art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time”. Merton explains how the production of art is a transitional state, and is therefore representative of liminality. While painting I feel I reach this in-between state. It’s trance like, all-consuming and ultimately a safe space to explore. I believe it’s where my mind, body, and soul are able to connect.
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