In addition to his poetry and Texturals (some of which you can see below) Campion provided the conceptual frame for the installation: Floodstage at the Memory Theatre
This collaborative effort with sculptor T. J. Mabrey and composer Edmund Campion explored the ecotropic relationship between the sky and the earth. And sought to use ancient maps of the heavens to shed some light on some Earthly problems.
Mabrey tends to use Italian Marble in her large pieces. Her work is known for its essential great beauty, and its evocative and resonant nature that seems to change and move as the works are observed. She is likewise innovative in her conceptions and people say she has knowing hands.
Floodstage was organized in a form of nested sets; one large oval contained two other circles–themselves suggestive of ancient models of the cosmos, especially the quincunx. The large oval presented a number of works by Mabrey–including archetypal boats, and Campion, whose poetry and Texturals mapped out some of the logospoeic aspects of the show.
Floodstage at the Memory Theatre presented models of the precession of the equinox as it is presented in ancient astronomy and myth. (See Hamlet’s Mill). It also contained elements taken from The Art of Memory by Frances Yates.
This installation was presented at Texas A & M University.
The two inner circles presented one with a marble floor that showed two interpenetrating snakes with Campion’s text engraved upon them. Above them a concave mirror reflected a nest of grapes above from whose center floated a metal fish. Guarding the four corners stood 4 large marble sculptures.
The second circle included a central sculpture of legs and a lost head placed in a pond of goldfish. Rounding the corners were 4 manhole covers encased in brick. The pool reflected overhead a tipi of bamboo poles.
In addition to the following Texturals (text paintings) by Campion that were used in this installation, you can find others on the ART PAGE.
Right: The Meeting (2′ x 3′)–Text, Ink, foil, prayer papers, and collage on papyrus.
Below: The Twins Defeat the Lords of Death (1.5′ x 2′)–Text, Ink, water colors, foil, and prayer paper, on home-made paper.
Below: The Map a Dung Beetle Makes (2′ x 3′)–Text, foil, prayer papers, on papyrus.
Above: Zero Lying Down Sky (2′ x 3′) Text, ink, water colors, oil, prayer paper collage, foil, on paper.
Right: The Bruise You Burned (2′ x 3′) -Text, water color, ink, prayer papers, cutouts, foil, chinese characters, chop prints on paper.
Left: Interconnectivity (2′ x 3′)–Text, ink, water colors, on paper.
Below: The Bloody Third (2′ x 3′)–Text, ink, water color, metal flakes, on paper.
Left: The Medicine Our Sickness Needs (2′ x 3′)–Text, prayer paper collage, water colors on paper.
Right: The Moon of Popping Trees (2′ x 3′)–Text, ink, water color, acrylic, metal flakes, foil, prayer papers, on paper.
In addition to his Texturals, Campion also contributed two very large selections of inverse video slides from his poetry that were projected continuously on two walls of the Floodstage show, These you will have to imagine….
Floodstage at the Memory Theatre was presented in a community just North of Austin, TX and at College Station on the Texas A and M campus, where it won the prize for the best art show of that year.
The Floodstage at the Memory Theatre installation became a minor cause celebre when it was initially censured and closed for some of the content in Campion’s Texturals. The ACLU’s effort to force the show to reopen is documented in The Americans’ for Freedoms publication on censorship in the U.S.
- Please Note: Edmund Campion composed the music for the installation. You can listen to some of his music on this site under the Collaboration sub tab, Edmund Campion.
- You can also view the Floodstage site on the blog at http://johnmichaelcampion.wordpress.com/
OTHER Campion/Mabrey Collaborations:
While Floodstage has been the chief collaboration between Mabrey and Campion, there have been others. Mabrey has used Campion’s work on her Marble sculpture and on her other art work.
Ishmael and the Rising Tide of Memory
John Campion contributed to the following piece by T.J. Mabrey in her collaboration with Robbie Steinbach for a current exhibit (Summer 2015) at Hulse/Warman Gallery in Taos, NM. The Installation is entitled, Frames of Mind. This piece by Mabrey (Ishmael and the Rising Tide of Memory) contains a poem by Campion, Where the Shaman Goes, written on tiny shards and mirrored on the wall.
Shards with Poetry by Campion
where the shaman goes
a c~o~i~l I turn into and go through the circle once a line whose knot I am remains to decipher
Here’s one Mabrey did for A Show of Boat, with poetry by Campion. It’s a PDF.
Take a look at this work called