I’m not sure why I am so troubled when people tell me they have never been to this gallery; I suppose because Adair so often brings in people worth hearing and seeing that it seems a shame in this geographicvally isolated area not to take advantage.
Pamela Nelson of Dallas, but apparently really from everywhere, is both a Public Space artist as well as a private walls one. Her public works are at the Dallas Airport, and the Zoo among other places, she is also on the DC public arts committee which approves public works for the nation’s Capitol. She has also travelled extensively in Honduras among other places where she helped set up co-ops for marginalized wimen to learn crafts which they can sell and turn their communities into much better places, something they have already done.
Last night, she gave a talk prior to the opening of a show she shares with Barbara Kingery, and she opened up all sorts of ideas and viewpoints in her brief talk. She touched on a public arts project she did for an upscale mall in Dallas. The idea which came from a writing friend, was to explore how colors blend. Her project consisted of no words, but three simple large squares-the first two were connected by a plus sign; the third connected to the others by an equals. She began with primary colors to show what mixed with what to create what third color. She expanded to include spectrums of color. These were simple, clean and informational. It has attracted a lot of attention for not only the mall, but for other sculptures in the space. She mentioned that one of the pleasures of dealing with a private enterprise rather than a governmental one is that the manager looked at it as well as the accompanying book idea, agreed immediately and it was a done deal. This as opposed to what often happens with governmental entities where it can drag on forever.
Her works on the wall derive from the handicrafts she has been helping women create as well as from other types of weavings and craftwork, but in an abstracted pattern. It is in many ways the essence of the thing rather than the thing itself. She plays with color and with creating vividness through color juxtaposition as well as the use of “microflakes” which contain a metallic that deflects the light so that the colors appear differently depending from what angle you view it. She has also apparently fallen in love with perforations-here represented by large black dots. This increases the vividness of the surrounding colors. Her paintings, filled with patterns and memories of craftwork from other places and other times, seem mesmerising-one can get lost in the patterns not unlike the works from which they are derived.
As I said, she is also working with about different coops to sell their crafts. Called Honduras Threads, there are many examples for sale at the gallery.
Today at noon, Barbary Kingery will also give a free talk at the gallery about her work , which is derived from much of the same material, but comes across in a very different way. I will give a fuller report on her work after the talk.-David Sokolec