Gm! Today we’ll interview the Macro Photography star Renée Campbell, directly from Sidney, Australia. You surely saw her flowers on your timeline at least once and her work is easily recognizable on the NFT space, spreading calm, love and peace into our days.
Renee, thanks a lot for talking to us. Even though you have a diverse body of work, most people know you for your impressive and delicate flowers, a journey you started over 20 years ago. Would you please tell us how it was to venture into macro photography back then? What kind of challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
I was always drawn to macro photography. Physically holding a camera and looking through the lens is a type of escapism, my own world away from the noise.. I had dabbled in many other styles, but I always came back to macro. It’s my meditation, when I was younger, it was my way to relax after a busy day, now it’s my meditation away from my busy family. I can’t say that I’ve encountered challenges with macro but I can say I’ve evolved through my experiences and the increasingly high speed of technology also plays a part in my evolution. When I look back at my photos from the early days, the change blows me away.
What drove you to the flowers in the first place?
They have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a child, they were my toys, I would disappear for hours in worlds I built with their petals. Their colors, shapes, textures and scents have always fascinated me. Flowers are art, nature’s beautiful masterpieces to be admired. Feeling the velvety soft petals and smelling the perfume transported me to my own utopia. They were my escape and my safety blanket in one way or another all my life.
Your career was at full speed when you had to put it to a pause. Did you realize back then how fast you were going or did you just go with the flow? And what made you decide to take a break and focus on yourself?
Being a macro photographer, I tend to focus on the small details and not the big picture. At the time I didn’t realize the gravity of my success, it was a shock at the time being featured in Sotheby’s but as I look back, I can appreciate my achievements. It wasn’t my choice to take a break. My health took a turn when we started our family. Migraines took hold from the moment I was pregnant and haven’t left me since. I didn’t have room to create and take care of my boys, so art took a back seat until my boys were old enough for me to find it again.
How did you have the idea of creating the Little Worlds and why haven’t you turned them into a NFT collection yet?
My Little Worlds actually started as terrariums, but I kept killing the plants so had to pivot 🙂 For years I had been creating dioramas for my son to play with, the ideas slowly refined until they became terrariums and then little worlds. I still hope to release them as NFTs one day but haven’t been happy with how they translate in photos so far. I have strong faith I’ll find a way one day and they will make their home on the blockchain.
Your pieces are peaceful and calm. They’re the kind we’d go to in order to relax, admire and allow the mind to ease. However humans have a multitude of feelings, including anger. Do you avoid creating when your mind is troubled or do you use art to send those feelings away?
I definitely use art as an escape from every feeling! When I’m creating, nothing else matters but the art. I learnt many years ago to look for the positives in life. I wasn’t always able to, it was a skill I crafted over the years. My work reflects that positivity. I only want to leave people with calm and happy feelings, that’s what I’m about.
When and how did you learn about NFTs?
I came into NFTs in September 2021 after a wonderful Instagram friend suggested it. I took her advice and marched into twitter without the faintest idea of what I was doing. Nothing much has changed 🙂
How do you think NFTs are changing the way we experience art?
The idea of viewing our work on gallery screens around the world without having to print, frame and post each piece is a literal game changer. An aesthetically pleasing, well-built and curated cyber gallery is also really special. I’ve visited cyber galleries that literally took my breath away. After going through those experiences, I came out feeling calm in a way that’s totally unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.
What’s your ultimate goal as an artist?
My ultimate dream is to leave behind a powerful legacy for myself and my boys. I want my body of work to be known for its beauty and how it shows my deep care for Mother Nature.
Renée, thank you immensely for talking to us! Your art is a true extension of yourself and it was a pleasure to touch this peace you emanate even in this interview.
See you on the next issue folks!