Pamela McMenamin – Featured Artist

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Pamela McMenamin – Featured Artist this month.

My work is predominately painting in oils and two main series dominate my body of work. Firstly, my abstract Endless Landscape series and secondly, my series revisiting the traditional genre of still life, landscape and portrait.

Pamela McMenamin - Featured Artist
Pomegranate I – oil on board
Pamela McMenamin – featured artist
Lemon – oil on board
Pamela McMenamin – featured artist
Lime – oil on board

I am interested in painting in its simplest form of representing colour and space. However, my work also critically analyses perception and illusion as well as exploring what is reality, sometimes critiquing the very mediums being used, often deconstructing and revealing the process.  I also enjoy working in and around the boundaries of abstraction/representation, drawing/painting and traditional/contemporary. Exploring when one becomes the other or observing the labels and boxes the viewer uses to class the work.

Pamela McMenamin – Featured Artist
Caoimhe & Maggie (detail), oil on canvas
Pamela McMenamin – Featured Artist
Lookout – oil on canvas

Thinking through painting in order to unravel what is truth in today’s world, reflecting upon globalisation and mass information and how our brain’s coping mechanism of filtering and simplification can lead to the wrong conclusions.

Pamela McMenamin – Featured Artist
Endless Landscape III, oil on canvas on wheels
Pamela McMenamin – Featured Artist
Endless Landscape III, oil on canvas on wheels

I have used the depth reversal illusion in the paintings from the Endless Landscape series is to highlight that sometimes we believe what we see and see what we believe.  In the book, “Perspective and other Optical Illusions”, by Phoebe McNaughton she says:

“We evolved to respond to immediate personal crises rather than slowly advancing global ones” “Optical illusions are an easy way to get your brain to realise how clichéd and prejudiced it has probably become – we are hard wired to only recognise sudden changes as profoundly dangerous”

Pamela McMenamin – Featured Artist
Endless Landscape+1, oil on canvas

This ambiguous space in the Endless Landscapes and the simplification of the brush strokes in the more representational work provides a place for the mind to retreat; there is peacefulness to them. In the image flooded, mass-marketed and globalised world we live in today our brains filter out more information than ever before, in the words of Mark Wallinger, from his book of the exhibition, The Russian Linesman:

“Why is the illusion of three dimensions so restful? Perhaps the modernist grid and the flat screen which we attend to each day mean that this extra-ordinary function of the mind’s eye stimulates the full extent of our powers and gives us the magic of a shared hallucination.”

In formal terms a painting is pluralistic by nature, a 3-D object, a 2-D picture plane and a depiction of 3-D semi-abstract space. It is both deceptive and true at the same time and is not pretending otherwise.

Pamela McMenamin was born in Glasgow, moved to London more than 20 years ago and settled in Hertfordshire 10 year ago. She pursued and enjoyed a successful career in the media business before going back to university and studying Fine Art Practice, graduating in 2009 with a first class honours degree. Pamela is currently exhibiting work from the Endless Landscape series upstairs at HERE café, Berkhamsted, until the end of November 2015.

Pamela McMenamin – Featured Artist
Endless Landscape, installed at HERE café, Berkhamsted

For more information on Pamela McMenamin – Featured Artist, check out her website.

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