Pamela K Jamieson
“Hidden Gems” is about ocean awareness of the one celled microorganisms known as Phytoplankton. Created on a 10 ft x 60” piece of yupo paper, this opaque plastic substrate made in Japan helped me evoke a visceral movement of color very much like the ocean creatures themselves onto paper. As an avid kayaker who explores the local waters around Vancouver Island, I wanted to celebrate and bring awareness to ocean organisms. I have seen in my travels the harmful pollution that is affecting our oceans today. Plastic is destroying sea life which interrupts how ocean ecosystems thrive.
Using a bright palette, I am sharing my interpretation of these organisms with the viewer. I created their shapes, patterns and dimensions using many unconventional techniques which I experimented with throughout the piece. I worked with acrylic fluids, inks, soap, salt, rubbing alcohol, markers and mediums. I explored different color mixtures and layering. All of these techniques produced a piece of work that has energy and shows the beauty and magical side of these organisms. This is what I would imagine they look like when the sun’s rays hit them. They are the hidden gems when we look at the ocean because they are not clearly visible but they play a vital role in the earth’s ecosystem. This was one of the reasons I decided to paint big. To give phytoplankton a spotlight in my mixed media artwork and raise awareness for our delicate ecosystems.
This project has given me great joy to produce work that I am passionate about. It has also been very challenging. Working on a much larger scale was an adjustment but the biggest hurdle I had to overcome was isolation. Working on my own was hard as well as being separated from my peers, professors and the ability to access a large working space. I had to adapt, to rely on my own thoughts and criticisms and turn my living room into my studio. For four months, I worked and reworked Hidden Gems to the final image that you see today. Contact by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or @pjamiesoninstagram
Hidden Gems, 2021, 10′ x 60″, yupo paper, mixed media