Pamela Golden Charlie Don’t Surf Marlborough Contemporary Nov 2015
Golden’s exhibition comprises nine print and watercolour works and one print on a body board. They are composed of melded, found imagery from the 1920’s to the 1970’s, depicting scenes such as soldiers in Vietnam surfing next to a Jurassic landscape. The prints are over painted with inks and watercolours giving the impression of floating layers.
The colours used are like washed out brights, reminiscent of prints from the 50’s. The pictures have an almost blurred quality as if the registration of a print has slightly moved - so you cannot completely hold on to the image - it is just out of reach.
The exhibition title is a line from the film Apocalypse Now, which was also used as a Clash song title so already holds a cultural context, setting the scene for the works. The viewer is watching over the unsettling scenarios as if at that moment in a film before some impending disaster. We are distant, yet due to the reflective glass on the prints, become almost a part of the multi layered pictures.
By juxtaposing these images Golden is questioning our relationship with imagery and visual culture, creating fantastical and uncanny landscapes. Using visually familiar references she is creating new narratives from the mixed up timeline of her source materials.
Golden is best known for her miniature paintings based on found photographs and albums she has collected, Golden talks about her paintings as small in scale but large in title. She weaves history and legend into the narrative of the found image and transcribes this into tiny oil and encaustic paintings on paper. The photographs are no longer connected to where they originated, they are still memories, but ones that Golden has taken possesion of.