ARTIST'S STATEMENT - PAMELA SATURDAY

Fundamental to my recent work is the experience of layering. Many works derive from a physical overlay of materials both organic and manufactured, of painted or sewn patterns, and others emphasize the painterly textures present in most works. I am strongly drawn to mysterious forms and potent contrasts of colors, and take a sensual approach to my work. Yet my imagery develops out of the practice of poetic abstract painting , and just as important as the visuality is the aspect of allusion. Metaphorically, the emphasis on layering also suggests unknown depths and images only partially visible or present in part. For me, this connects to a sense that the world is not completely knowable, that any truth is partial, and that the actual includes potential.

This approach takes form in related groups of works that to greater or lesser extent focus on painted surfaces or include assemblage elements. A group of mid-size paintings on paper originated as lithographs, on which I juxtaposed geometric and loosely organic forms, stripes, patterns, gestural marks and fields of indeterminate depths. The visual density coheres around subtle interactions of strong color and dynamic compositions. These appear to be high-energy abstractions, but I work to contain and control the panoply. In some, sheets of translucent hand-made paper subdue the push-pull effect while suggesting the experience of forms that is not so easily available, or perhaps protected by a veil.

Another extensive series of smaller mixed-media drawings explore spare compositions in monochrome and use line created through application of materials and objects. Here forms are created by stitching sparse lines of thread, fastening buttons, sewing actual foliage or small flat bags, printing leaves or embedding nails. A botanist in Asia provides me with plant samples from the rain forest. Often the compositions are comprised simply of black and white; others focus on muted tones. Some are quietly enlivened by papers patterned in soft gold cross shapes. Minimalist in tenor, I display them in a grid of two rows by four columns. These offer a more subdued contemplation of surface and materiality.

My images are like tapestries of myriad visual, emotional and cultural experiences. Suggestions of images ranging from whimsical to sober disarm the viewer, offering an invitation to enter. I weave different techniques of paint application and assemblage into my paintings, aiming to create a richly sensory experience of layered images, moods, and allusions.

 

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