Pamela Speight is a visual artist who explores presence and absence, vulnerability and longing, wildness and loss. By means of intricate layering and palpable texture, one is drawn to both the bold physicality and the delicate subtlety of her paintings, drawings and mixed media works.
When applying multiple layers, with each one Speight selectively covers and reveals, resulting in many color and shading variations. She achieves this not only by building up a surface but also by scratching, cutting, wiping or erasing away areas of her paintings and drawings. A paradoxical archaeology occurs, as though digging down through an underground landscape. At times she appears to question our compulsion to invade and exploit, rather than allow to remain hidden, what is vulnerable and mysterious in ourselves and in the whole of nature. Her work journeys into notional territories yet is profoundly grounded in earthly experience.
There are elements of eroticism in Speight’s work that reference the body and show her interest in the relationship between visibility and concealment. At times this extends to contrasting what is familiar and comforting with territory that is unfamiliar and dangerous. Because of its connection to desire, instinct, memory and nature her artwork could be called, if it had to be categorized, sensual abstraction. It invites the viewer to revel in the enigma of life.
Increasingly Speight’s work is informed by the complex and diverse ways in which we interact with other species, and our perception of wilderness in relation to our own disengagement from the rhythms of the natural world. Her images evidence this collective separation, yet they also trace possibilities for reconnection. In this context, Speight's paintings are exquisite shimmering fragments that offer hopeful windows into a bond with nature which is not just “out there” but is intrinsic to being human, and which could soon be lost through our own folly.