Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Literary Art " by Pam Neff

Featured this month in the Loft Gallery of 2nd April is a fun installation/exhibition of works by Pam Neff. If you are a regular customer of Sublime Studios, you may have seen some of these pieces before, but when hung together as one story, the perspective changes. A must read is the large text “statement” about Rock Paper Scissors which has nothing at all to do with the actual show, but does add another layer to the concept of paper and echoes the humor found throughout.

How to classify the pieces depends upon how one defines the genre of using recycled materials to make art. Our downtown is full of “junque” and “stuff” recycled into objects that function as sculptures independent of the intent of the original material. Pam has taken a different route by repurposing objects, in this case, books, into sculptural pieces the still reference the original material.

Books are conceptually linked to intelligence and Pam shows a keen sense of humor and wit and smarts with this series. The dark walls are a natural setting to show off the contrast between text and page. Because the base supports are also dark, she has created a background of loose pages that appear to flutter along the walls as if blowing in a breeze so as to highlight each piece and subliminally keep the visual story moving along.

The technique of this aberrant origami will be offered in a workshop on November 15th. More info can be obtained by contacting  or pick up a flyer at the show (stuck between the pages of a book on the desk…clever!).  In addition to the 13 pieces on the outer walls, the center structure contains an assortment of framed and 3-D works, note cards, cookbooks and even a clock. If you have book lover in your life, one of these pieces would be a perfect holiday present and the wall pieces take no shelf space.

Okay, time for a bit more about exactly what you will see and why I found it entertaining. Personally, I like art that makes me think, or laugh, or both. Keep the drama, the angst, the creepy crawlies and the darkness for those who appreciate that genre. I guess I would rather read about such things than see them which is a good segue into Pam’s books. There is occasional “darkness” in some of the writings used, but you have to look for them. For example, on the pieces that resemble motivational posters, I read the writings behind the words and saw text about Poland and the Warsaw Ghetto of the late 1930’s. If you know your history, you will understand.  My laugh out loud moment however was on the cover of a journal….”Blank book seeks writer for long term relationship”.  What a perfect item to get for a marriage proposal! Fill in the blank on that one as far as what one could put inside to pop the question.

These wall sculptures have been created through a variety of manuscript manipulation with the occasional addition of an artist’s mini manikin. “A Real Page Turner” and “In The Middle of a Good Book” are just two of her offerings.  I don’t want to ruin the ending for you however, so you will have to visit the gallery and see how the story plays out.

Until this space at 2nd April Galerie is rented on a long term basis, the Loft Gallery is a wonderful location for mounting solo shows and installations.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Judi for your insightful review. Love the show and Pam's work but you verbalize it so well for everyone.