The Collier Campbell Archive: 50 Years of Passion in Pattern

Susan Collier, Author, Sarah Campbell, Author, Emma Shackleton, Author
Emma Shackleton with Sarah Campbell. Ilex (Ingram, dist.), $75 (320p) ISBN 978-1-908150-82-0
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 12/01/2012
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Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell were much more than designing women as this weighty coffee table-style archive ably demonstrates. Textile painters who were recognized as energetic and vibrant colorists, the British-born sisters were known for their "painterly approach" using visible brushmarks, harmonious treatment of colors, and skill with pattern repeat. During walks with their parents, the two were keen observers of nature and color. Later they drew particular inspiration from gardens, folksy ceramics, even pieces of antique fabric; among their favorite theme motifs were the tree of life, florals, leaves, birds and butterflies, landscapes, ikats (a dye technique), and geometrics. At the height of their careers in the 1970s and 1980s, the sisters found fame with the iconic "Cote d'Azur", "Bauhaus", and "Tambourine" designs, as well as Yves Saint Laurent's "Rive Gauche" collection and exotic ikat-inspired motifs for clothing, wallpaper, home furnishings, and carpet. Susan died at age 72 in 2011; Sarah still designs under her own name. Their design archive comprises some 30,000 pieces of artwork, sketches, notes and samples; Shackleton and Campbell culled the highlights from the collection, while providing anecdotal narrative and large, colorful images of their most popular patterns for a pleasing book. (Dec.)
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