Physical Graffiti - Jonathan Campbell

The concept for Physical Graffiti came about after Jonathan discovered his Grandmother’s old chopping board. Carved into the top of the board was ‘Jonathan is a Dick’. The board had been in his mother’s attic and must be at least 80 years old. His older brother carved into the surface in the late 70’s or early 80’s. Jonathan immortalised the statement in bronze which then led him to find more gouged graffiti in public spaces.

The graffiti was found on park benches, tables or carved into clay banks often in spaces meant for public activity. These spaces were serene during daylight hours but evidence of seedy night time activity was obvious. There were often syringes, aerosol cans, bottles, butts, condoms and the odd rat, alive or dead, or evidence of them.
Given the number of rats Jonathan came across he decided to include them to create more interesting compositions within the body of work. They also reference the well-known rats in Banksy’s graffiti.

Jonathan made direct moulds of the graffiti on site. He then cast them in bronze at his foundry in Wellington and embellished the gouges with paint.

Exhibition closes 11th February 2023

Jonathan Campbell lives and works in Lower Hutt, Wellington and completed his Diploma of Fine Arts at Whitireia New Zealand in 1989. He then went to work in an arts casting foundry. Receiving a Creative New Zealand grant (1992), he established his own studio/foundry, in a 400 square meter army magazine set in the western hills of Lower Hutt.
Lost Wax Wellington casts numerous other New Zealand artist's works as well as creating works for public institutions and public spaces. The most recent public works (2022) were ten bronze pigeons commissioned by WellingtonNZ, created to celebrate the city's rich business history.
Jonathan has exhibited frequently over the last 30 years in both solo and group exhibitions. Campbell was a finalist in the Wallace Art Awards six times, has been a finalist in multiple sculpture awards and received a Highly Commended in the most recent Richard T Nelson Sculpture Awards, 2021.