Visual Artist


Barbara Campbell currently lives and works in Sydney, Australia.

Barbara Campbell has performed in Australia, Europe and the USA, in museums, galleries, public buildings, photographs, on film, video, radio, and the internet, in silence and with words, still and moving, since 1982.

Barbara has been actively engaged in the research and development of the Arts and Culture Sector during this time in a number of significant roles including as Gallery Co-ordinator of the Institute of Modern Art (1982-83) and as an office bearer of the Qld Artworker’s Union which became the Artworker’s Alliance.

During the 1980’s, Barbara instigated and worked with the A Room collective an influential six month Artist-Run Space located on the first floor of 446 George Street, Brisbane from June 18- December 18, 1984.

In 2015 Barbara is due to complete her PhD at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney researching how migratory shorebirds direct human performance.

Artist Resume at a glance:

Barbara Campbell is an Australian artist who works primarily in the medium of performance. Since 1982 she has worked with the specific physical and contextual properties of a given site, be it art gallery, museum, atrium, tower, radio airwaves or the world wide web, in developing and presenting her works.


After completing undergraduate degrees in fine arts and art history, Barbara Campbell was awarded a Master of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney in 1998. In 2012 she began a PhD at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney under the supervision of Professor Ross Gibson. Her research examines the way migratory shorebirds using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway direct human performance.


Between 1996 and 2001 Campbell developed and presented work at various sites around The University of Sydney. These came together in the survey exhibition Flesh Winnow, in 2002. The accompanying collection of essays of the same name was published jointly by the Department of Performance Studies and the Power Institute: Foundation for Art and Visual Culture of The University of Sydney.


She has undertaken residencies at Griffith University, Queensland, The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney and the Australia Council studios in Santa Monica and New York. In 1994 the NSW Ministry for the Arts awarded her the Women and Arts Fellowship.


In 2004 she received one of four Fellowship grants awarded by the Visual Arts/Craft Board of the Australia Council for the Arts to develop and present her online durational performance, 1001 nights cast (


Prior to 1001 nights cast, her most recent performance/exhibitions was The Grimwade Effect at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne in October-December, 2003. This project was the result of her Macgeorge Fellowship at the University of Melbourne in 2002. The Grimwade Effect was reconfigured at the CraftACT Gallery, Canberra for Metis in May 2004.


About the Ephemera: Ephemera Galleries


  • Red Comb House – Exhibition. 1982
  • A ROOM Poster 1984
  • Letter to Paul Andrew from Di Heenan, 1985.


1980-2000 ARI Background:   Directly involved in 1980-2000 ARC including -.


1981: Exhibitor (performance night with Ted Riggs), One Flat Exhibit, South Brisbane

1984? Exhibitor, Red Comb House (no memory of what I exhibited)

1984: Instigator, member, exhibitor of A ROOM, George St, Brisbane

1985: Exhibitor and member, SPAN gallery, Darlington, Sydney

1986: Exhibitor, First Draft Gallery, Chippendale, Sydney

1991: Exhibitor, First Draft West, Annandale, Sydney

1990s: Exhibitor, Galerie Constantinople, Queanbeyan, NSW

1999-2002: Co-director with Neil Roberts, Galerie Constantinople, Queanbeyan, NSW

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ZIP Projects No3

by Tim and Terry Murphy was a commissioned immersive multimedia installation for the opening of the Queensland Performing Arts Complex in 1985.

Ironing Board Dances & Brave New Works

The Zip Performing Group undertook a series of works nationally over 3 years to 1986. These culminated in a double header of the Ironing Board Dance and Brave New Works last performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 1986


‘Fine Fragments’ was a full-length multimedia performance piece presented in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide 1986 and 1987

Career Highlights

Backwash, performance premiering at Art Gallery of NSW for Australian Perspecta 1993 and subsequent tour to Brisbane, Melbourne, San Francisco and produced as an ABC radio feature in 1994

Women and Arts Fellowship, NSW Ministry for the Arts

Fresh Glories, performance series and installation, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

Macgeorge Fellow, University of Melbourne

Flesh Winnow, survey of 6 performances and catalogue, University of Sydney

Australia Council Fellowship

1001 nights cast, 1001 consecutive nights of online performed stories

close, close, responsive video installation for LandSeaSky, premiering Seoul, tour to Shanghai, Sydney, Brisbane and Guangdong



1001 nights cast, 2005-2008 involved contributions from 263 writers during the project.


Bibliography at a glance:

Jennifer Barrett and Jacqueline Millner, Australian Artists in the Contemporary Museum, Ashgate, 2014

Barbara Campbell with Norrie Neumark, “In Conversation” in Maria Miranda, Unsitely Aesthetics: Uncertain Practices in Contemporary Art, Berlin and Los Angeles: Errant Bodies Press, Surface Tension Supplement No. 6, 2013.

Terry Smith, Contemporary Art: World Currents, London: Laurence King Publishing, 2011

Jacqueline Millner, “Barbara Campbell: A body of/at work” in Conceptual Beauty: Perspectives on Australian Contemporary Art, Sydney: Artspace, 2010

Mary O’Neill, “Ephemeral Art: The Art of Being Lost” chapter in Smith, Mike, Davidson, Joyce, Cameron, Laura and Boni, Liz (eds), Emotion, Place and Culture, UK and USA: Ashgate, 2009

Joan Kerr, “Performing Art History: The Machine, oiled again” in Candice Bruce, Dinah Dysart and Jo Holder (eds), A Singular Voice: essays on Australian art and architecture/Joan Kerr, Sydney: Power Publications, 2009

Cynthia Troup, “Weightlessly home, safe”, OnScreen in RealTime #86, Aug/Sept 2008

Cynthia Troup, “The art of performance: online and alive”, RealTime, No. 73, July 2006

Kelly Gellatly, “There’s No Time”, catalogue essay for Metis: Time, Canberra, 2004

Ann Stephen, review of Flesh Winnow, Art Monthly Australia, No. 158, Apr 2003

Jacqueline Millner, “Barbara Campbell: a body of/at work”, RealTime No. 52, Dec 2002/Jan 2003

“Catriona Moore interviews Barbara Campbell”, RealTime No. 51, Oct/Nov 2002

Laura Ginters and Barbara Campbell (eds), Flesh Winnow: six performances, Sydney: Power Publications, 2002

Joan Kerr, “Not Just Simple Nostalgia”, Art Monthly Australia, No. 105, 1997

Sarah Miller, Catalogue Essay for Australian Perspecta 1993, Sydney: Art Gallery of NSW, 1993

Anne Marsh, Body and Self: Performance Art in Australia 1969-92, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1993


Recommended Reading: 

Laura Ginters and Barbara Campbell (eds), Flesh Winnow: six performances, Sydney: Power Publications, 2002



Although performance art is by its nature ephemeral, artefacts and objects created in and around Campbell’s performances are in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia; Griffith University; Queensland University; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the State Library of Queensland and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She was also commissioned to create Cameral, a public art work for the ACT Legislative Assembly, Canberra in 2001.

Related Websites:


Art Practice Keywords:

Performance, video, installation


Artist Role Keywords:

Artist, Arts Administrator, Artist Run Spaces,


Collaboration/ Collaborator names Keywords:

One Flat Exhibit

Red Comb House

A Room

Institute of Modern Art

Ted Riggs

Brian Doherty

Janelle Hurst

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