'Moving Still' comes to Northern Daughters
Northern Daughters presents “Moving Still,” a solo exhibit of new work from Pamela Smith, on view at the gallery’s 221 Main St. location in Vergennes from Oct. 4-Nov. 30 with an opening reception on Friday, Oct. 12, from 5-8 p.m.
Smith is a self-taught painter based in Bristol. She draws from a background in textiles, years of living abroad and studying folk art from around the world. These influences are beautifully evident in her work. Smith’s paintings are rich in pattern and floral elements, and exhibit the liberty experienced by an outsider artist who plays with perspectives, dimensions and mediums freely.
How did she get started as a painter? Why, family painting night, of course — something she started when her two children were young. Once a week her family would sit around a still life on the kitchen table and paint together. Smith soon began painting women usually accompanied by their relations; children, men and animals, and has continued to do so for the last 25 years.
The family tradition of artistic expression did not start with Smith; her mother who was a painter often pushed her towards being an artist.
“I resisted it a really long time because that’s what I had always been told to be,” Smith said. Eventually, in the context of her own family, she found her way to painting.
For this exhibit, Smith is returning to still lifes. The new work is recognizably steeped in rich pattern, vibrant colors and bold organic forms.
“I wanted to push myself to reflect my inner world in a more direct way without the narrative support,” the artist explained. “And to perhaps soften the illusion of inner and outer. It’s been exciting to see what appears.”
Five of Smith’s “Madonnas,” life size paper mache sculptures, are part of the permanent collection at the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore where one was recently featured in the exhibit “YUMMM! The History, Fantasy, and Future of Food.”
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