Born in 1948, Joseph was raised on Musqueam land in Vancouver, BC and over the years has raised his own family in Vancouver. His ancestral name is Katxalacha and it was handed down to him from the Paul family of the Squamish Nation situated in North Vancouver.
Joseph took an early interest in carving and had the opportunity to observe his late father, Sylvester, who carved culturally significant ceremonial masks and house posts, using the traditional Coast Salish form line. Joseph’s late brother Danny Campbell gave him his first carving knife and also demonstrated numerous carving techniques and styles, including the structured and complex northern form line, a style which Joseph continues to use in most of his work.
Joseph began carving small scale works, swiftly progressing to larger scale, with objects such as talking sticks, masks and panels. Consequently, Joseph commenced designing and building bentwood boxes under the guidance of his good friend and mentor, master bentwood box carver, Larry Rosso. Since that apprenticeship, Joseph has progressed steadily with his range of expertise and precision in perfecting his design and carving techniques. He continues to create more finely crafted and complex pieces with each completed work. Campbell not only furthers his carving techniques through his practical skills, but also drives himself to improve his knowledge of design, working in contemporary media to advance and broaden his artwork.
Campbell studied Advanced Design with Master Haida artist Robert Davidson, and has worked with instructor George Rammel at Capilano College on the art of bronze casting. As Campbell’s artwork continues to thrive, many collectors has developed a strong affinity for his work; his bentwood boxes can be found in collections across Europe, United States, Canada, Asia, and the South Pacific.