Lost City Series
Artist Statement

I like to fly at night, in a window seat. I consider the lights of the sprawling metropolis below as if it were a drawing. The quality of the line is paramount, while the science of linearity seems irrational. Without the ground and a sightline, there is no convergence.

In January of 2020, I started a series of perforated woodblock prints after a Caribbean trip. During my trip, however, I flew during the day. My window seat became a site of conflict between rational thinking about coastal cities, rising sea levels, and the seduction of water. The intense hues of blues and greens eventually won over. As the horizon disappeared, so did I, and I found myself floating in a subliminal space.

This experience inspires my Lost City prints. They are situated somewhere between the cognition of space and materiality. I use color to imply that the ground plane is aquatic. Like a pianist who always has their foot on the pedal, I sustain color to create space. The more saturated a hue, the deeper the water. Interruption comes through perforations in the color field—a reminder of the print’s physicality as an object made of paper.

Since the pandemic, I have not been on a plane. Because of this, my work in the studio is shifting. I am relying more on my memory of physical places and the original spark that triggered my senses. Color can have sound, and light can be physical. Staying on the ground has not been a bad thing; it has opened up my work and imagination.

—Susan Goethel Campbell, 2021