Pamela Stretton’s work explores a dynamic play between 2 elements, involving not only the visual binary of scale but also the merging of digital photographic print mediums with handcrafted re-working. The visually appealing surface texture gives dimension to a work that is layered with meaning, as well as creative method. The result is a print with a difference.
Her subject matter originated as a self-study focussing on feminine beauty ideals inspired by a past battle with anorexia. Earlier works bring to light elements of scale, scrutiny, conformity, and control. Her work has evolved gently in a few directions exploring amongst other things notions of consumerism, women’s roles in society, narcissism, and plays on social media. From soft feminine nudes, and simple clean objects to larger-than-life portraits, Her imagery is quiet and contemplative yet bold and powerful at the same time.
Stretton currently lives and works in Cape Town. She is represented by galleries and art consultancies in America, the UK, and Europe, and her work appears in corporate and private collections worldwide.
My artwork was borne out of an autobiographical study dealing predominantly with the female body. My original focuses included issues such as beauty ideals and the body’s relationship with popular culture, fashion, health, and food, as well as the way women are perceived in society. Over time my work has evolved and branched into various avenues, yet the overall effect and feel of the work has remained consistent. I feel this is maintained due to the strong themes that run true and are suggested through the effects of my medium and process.
Inspired by print, most of my works take the form of digital inkjet prints, usually combining photographic images, text, and iconography. The methods used to create the finished work involve re-working the print pixel by pixel by adding soft padding. This results in a visually appealing surface texture giving organic dimension to a flat print.
These detailed and ordered methods were intended as a comment on the notion of obsessive control very often exerted on the female body, while the padding made obvious reference to feminine softness. In contrast to this, the use of square formats, grids, and pixels highlighted the notion of conformity, scale, scrutiny, and fragmentation. In short, the whole image viewed about the content of each tiny pixel sheds light on the many binaries present in each work and serves to maintain an element of dynamic tension.
While my earlier work remains largely figurative often aided by the presence of recognizable brands associated with the world of fashion, beauty, food, and consumerism, subsequent branches of exploration include a series of simple yet almost symbolic objects. While evoking subtle culinary notions they still hint at feminine body concerns and sometimes reference quirky iconography from the world of online commerce and advertising. Self-portraiture has also been a strong element of my self-study and has evolved and developed into an ongoing series. Most recently this line of my work has shed light on the realm of narcissism and social media. I am currently working on a series called The Colour Space, which focuses on a re-introduction of colour to my work. Aside from shedding light on the digital element of my medium, this body of work refers to contemporary photography and editing, the world of interior design, as well as the psychology of colour and its effects on human emotion.
- 2015 The London Art Fair, Islington
- 2015 The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea. London
- 2015 The Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead. London
- 2015 The Affordable Art Fair, New York
- 2015 The Affordable Art Fair, Hong Kong
- 2015 Provenance Summer Salon, Capetown
- 2015 Silence. Artworks on paper, Chenshia. Capetown
- 2014 The London Art Fair, Islington
- 2014 The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea, London
- 2014 The Affordable Art Fair, Hong Kong
- 2014 The Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead, London
- 2014 The Affordable Art Fair, New York
- 2014 The Affordable Art Fair, Singapore
- 2014 Art Silicon Valley, San Francisco
- 2013 No Substitute for Real experiences, Suitcase Project, Absa Gallery and Interactive Africa
- 2013 Imago Mundi, Luciano Benetton Collection (Contemporary artists from South Africa).
- 2013 The London Art Fair, Islington
- 2013 The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea, London
- 2013 The Affordable Art Fair, Hong Kong
- 2013 The Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead, London
- 2013 The Affordable Art Fair, New York
- 2013 The Affordable Art Fair, Singapore
- 2013 21st Art Salon, Rose Korber Art, Capetown