Shanel Campbell has unveiled the inaugural collection for Bed on Water, her New York-based art house that delivers everything from film and graphic design to photography and fashion.
The Femmewear Collection 1 is a continuation of the themes often referenced in Campbell’s work, which is heavily steered by her past experiences as a Black woman in America as well as a re-conceptualization of her verbal and visual research.
“My work centers on Black history, Afro-futurism, time, and spirituality …” Campbell, a Parsons graduate, explains in her artist statement. “My work is fed by a cycle of learning and intersecting new concepts, techniques, and mediums with already established mediums to create a limitless piece with multiple perspectives. It is a multidisciplinary critique of my personal value versus my projected value as a Black woman and artist in America. There is a heaviness disguised as beauty in my work, it reflects my baggage and the traumatic tensions I need to release.”
The Bed on Water fall/winter 2021 collection is made up of hyper-feminine looks that infuses classic elegance with elements of camp and the “party girl” aesthetic that dominated the aughts. Ruffle skirts, $100-bill prints, fishnet stockings, boa sleeves, and gladiator heels are just some of the details seen throughout the unapologetically random range.
“Ultimately, my work is a complicated multi-medium mood board in constant development that serves as visual triggers for films of the future,” Campbell said. “… I use art as a tool to communicate, release, and surrender. I translate my life into visuals without language so my work can never be too specific so room is left for similar people to relate. Some may see themselves in my pieces, some may e inspired by this form of of environmental and self analysis.”
You can check out some the collection in select images, shot by photographer Lula Hyers, below.