Pamella Allen


Pamella Allen is a descendent of a long line of mystic storytellers. Through her work, she investigates the intersections of memory and nature, body and soul. A Jamaica born, Brooklyn based artist, she uses artifacts from her life experiences pulled from memory and observation, her work is layered in process: mixed media paintings, printmaking, sculpture, paper making, Installation, photography/video essay & prose combine to create her own archetype; a universal language of images found and remembered that speaks to the diversity of her heritage, lived experiences and reverence for the mystic found in our natural world.

I was born a creative, landed feet first on earth hard-wired to make things. The process of art-creation is intuitive, instructive and most necessary for me. Even before immigrating to the states as a young girl, in my infancy I understood the fact that change is a constant. Early on I became aware of a need to make images by scratching pigment into things like paper, fabric, walls, floors, sand, soil into anything really. I found that if I illustrated from observation and memory, I could bring back or hold onto moments that were lost me like the face of a my mother, hummingbirds in flight or a spot under my favorite tree listening to the elders share histories and her-stories. The story of the immigrant child is often one of lost memory or disconnection; in this way my art has grown into my bones and has become the way that I capture artifacts and archetypes and re-create my own story to fill in the blank spaces; it is how I see myself in an ever changing landscape.

My art is at once a tool for actualization through trauma and a means of communication and observation through the mundanity of daily life. My “career” as an artist has not been the traditional one, after a brief stint at the Art Students League and a residency at MOMA, I choose the road less traveled and traded lecture halls and museum walls for a painting residency in France, continent hopping through Europe, a life at sea on the North Atlantic, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Pacific and Ionian. With a backpack and life on the road overland in east, central and southern Africa and some time in residency in India checking things out from north to south. My artistic journey is today as it started, steeped in change and creativity and so my works speak directly to my experiences here on terra nova, one black woman’s story told visually, my reckoning of all that I have seen on the journey.


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