My initial impetus to draw comes from the experience of looking at other drawings and objects of art.
Drawing is a kinesthetic experience incorporating a full range of bodily movements including balance and repetitive rhythm. I work through a body relation to materials.
Ethnography and the study of the ancient arts, particularly Turkey and the Caucasus countries form the basis of my work. The repetitive, rhythmic elements in their traditional art forms: carpets, vessels, architecture and calligraphy can originate in the shape and structure of organic life. Similarly, I begin by drawing the shapes and markings found on my collection of natural objects: rocks, stones, bones and shells.
I try to retain an uncertainty within the framework of my drawings so that I am dealing with something unknown. This means keeping open the possibility of contradictions: slow and fast, smart and stupid, hard and soft, earthy and airy. I work on these drawings over a long period of time. At some point in the drawing whatever idea I had in mind dissolves and it tells me what to do. I am never sure whether I finish the drawing or whether it finishes with me forming it’s own archaeology of shapes and colors.
Artist Bio / CV
Pam Cardwell was born in Bluefield, WV. She received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth and her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. Presently she lives in Brooklyn, NY. Between 1998-2002 she taught drawing at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. During this time she traveled extensively throughout Turkey, Greece and Jordan. In 2007 she received a Fulbright grant to research color in the arts and architecture of the Republic of Georgia and taught at the University of Film and Theatre and the Academy of Arts in Tbilisi. While in the Caucasus countries she also travelled to Armenia and Azerbaijan to study the manuscripts and frescos. In 1998 and 2005 she received grants through the Joan Mitchell Foundation. In 1998 an MFA grant and in 2005 a Career Opportunity grant to attend an artist residency at Altos de Chavon through Parsons School of Design in La Romano, Dominican Republic. She has attended residencies at Garikula in the Republic of Georgia, Yaddo, the Albers Foundation, the Millay Colony and the Edward Albee Foundation.