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Australian art

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Cactii garden



Cressida Campbell


08 Jul 1960 -


Cressida Campbell began making prints while a student at East Sydney Technical College in 1978-79. In 1985 she visited Japan, where she studied Japanese woodblock printing at the Yoshida Hanga Academy in Tokyo. She began making large colour woodblock prints like 'Cactii garden' that same year. Her method differs from the traditional Japanese method however, in that she does not use a different block for each colour, and applies watercolour with a small brush, rather than using ink scrubbed on the block with a hard brush and run through a press. Her early prints were made in small editions of up to ten, but more recently her work has usually been limited to one print.

"I begin each woodblock by drawing straight onto the block from life, making notes of some of the colours, and then return to the studio where I carve the block and paint it.
When two coats of paint have dried I spray the block with water and place a sheet of Fabriano paper over the image. Using a roller I apply pressure onto the back of the paper.
This method is a combination of painting and printing. I like to use water colour paint instead of ink because when it is printed there is an interesting texture left on the paper. The colour obtained from this method of printing is curiously more intense than if the water colour paint was applied directly to the paper. The drawing for the print is realistic and detailed. The colours used are not necessarily realistic". ('Australian Perspecta '85', AGNSW, 1985, pg. 87)

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, AGNSW, 1998




Media category


Materials used

colour woodcut on cream Fabriano paper




69.1 x 55.4 cm blockmark; 93.5 x 69.5 sheet

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., pencil "Cressida Campbell '85".


Purchased 1985


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Cressida Campbell

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 2 publications


Deborah Edwards, Daphne Wallace, Margo Neale, Victoria Lynn and Sandra Byron, Review: works by women from the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1995.

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 125 (colour illus.). 106