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Rich, decorative and simply impossible to pass by, local artist Pam Franklin’s work is indebted to a historical language. An interplay between the traditional and contemporary, Pam juxtaposes references to the Old Masters with scenes of domesticity. Steeped in historical references, these paintings bring together old and new, inviting the viewer to question the spaces we live in and reference their own nostalgic memories. Using traditional structures that hint at Renaissance altarpieces, Pam’s work is above all a celebration of colour and form, contrasting space and light with intricate decorative details.
Patterned wallpaper dominates her work, inspired possibly by the years Pam spent in a decaying red-brick Edwardian house as a student during the 1970s, and those moments when, as a child, she would gaze at wallpaper, sometimes seeing the surface patterns and sometimes looking through it.
The attention to detail is the key to her wonderful paintings, starting from the initial steps as she takes a Renaissance painting by an Old Master, searches the canvas for an intricate detail - a pearl necklace, a tiny piece of pattern on a fabric, or a patch of blue that takes the eye into a landscape that lies beyond the interior - then, having magnified the detail, use it as a starting point for a picture, once the preparation of the wooden surface is sized. with several layers of gesso - a remarkable mixture of rabbit skin glue and chalk - which in Pam's case, is made according to Cennino Cennini's recipe of 1390.
Her complex and stunning paintings offer a post-modern, feminist take on the classics of Renaissance art.