Seeping Light video- Pam Bain's work animated by James Josephides with sound composed by Steve Sculley.. Ggallery shot from the exhibition Deeper Darker Brighter, The Town Hall Gallery, Hawthorn, 2018
UNWRAPPING MYSTERY series
30cm x 30cm - photographed paper sculptures with internal light source - digital print on brushed gloss metal
These images represent the liminal zone between the identifiable and the shadowy unknown. The Universe harbors a multitude of obscurities - posing questions that many strive to answer and mysteries that some yearn to 'unwrap'. The pictured bodies of light in the darkened space are sculpted from painted papers into various formations that hover in a nascent state where their identity is just beyond reach. Some could be stellar beginnings, perhaps alien creatures, maybe a fast radio burst in freeze frame, possibly an echo of ourselves from the cosmic past - or something else entirely.
photographed paper sculptures with internal light source, 12 brushed metal gloss panels - 190cm x 90cm
“Billions of years ago, supernovae created the elemental mixture that would collapse and coalesce into our Solar System: the raw materials for life.” (Prof. Chris Fluke)
Made from metal in its printed surface these panels also symbolise the element of gold – the image hue effect – and carbon - the printed image made from paper.
These are just some of the raw materials and by products that emanate from a supernova or kilonova blast. The light effects of the gold shimmering images caught at certain viewing angles was particularly inspired by the discovery of a kilonova in 2017 which uncovered the origins of gold amongst many other things. The image configuration as a DNA double helix motif suspended in the blackened space suggests our human ancestry, the stars. Each image is a light burst anomaly, teasing us to decipher their true nature – and perhaps to reveal more about ourselves.
STELLAR BLOOM series
STELLAR BLOOM series - 30cm x 30cm, photographed paper sculptures with internal light source, digital prints on archival cotton rag paper - limited edition of 10
The shedding layers of a star that occurs before its supernova death, is symbolised metaphorically in these interpretations of opening flowers. Their imminent full bloom and subsequent falling of petals replenish the soil with nutrients; fertilizer for new growth. Each death in this process provides sustenance for a new life cycle.
DEATH AND CREATION 1 - 7
30cm x 30cm, digital prints on archival cotton rag paper - limited edition of 10
As certain stars approach their brilliant death in a supernova event they grow larger and their outer layers lift away. The final explosion thrusts the stellar material outward and from these remnants new life begins. Death and Creation is a n interpretation of this process.
CANDIDATE LIGHT COLLECTIVE
paint and ink on paper - 4m x 2.3m
'Candidates' are photo images taken by a research telescopes of objects in deep space that that are presented in grid form and initially analysed by 'people power'. THE CANDIDATE LIGHT COLLECTIVE pays homage to the banks of images that scientists and students scrutinise in search for signs of interesting events such as supernovae. Even though the actual 'candidates' look randomly placed there is a certain order to the layout and a systemised process by which the images are captured and computed during the observations.
In creating her own system of production, Pam similarly places a certain order upon the grid as the serried candidates, or pamdidates, become groupings of whitish dots - the stars - whose trajectories flow here and there. THE CANDIDATE LIGHT COLLECTIVE reflects upon DEEPER WIDER FASTER's search for transients such as an unstable star on the brink of explosion or a supernova in full throttle. These stars are harnessed and held within the photo image confines, in order to assess their potential. Thus, the painted grid is also about containing and stabalising that which is unstable. The throws of paint are contained within rectangles, thus, strident activity is tempered.
The sweep of yellow dots introduces a separate computer generated process - the 'light curve' - which measures a star's luminosity and can signal the possibility of an imminent supernova. If the dots, viewed on separate computer monitors appearing at roughly one minute intervals, begin to ascend and keep ascending, a supernova may be imminent and excitement in the room also rises.
CLEAR SKY OBSERVATIONAL series
paint, ink and pencil - 30cm x 30cm - limited edition of 10
These paintings are playful responses to the artist’s star gazing nights that are bright and still - as well as to her exposure to the grainy pixelated images generated from astronomy research telescopes – the candidates - she has viewed during the Deeper, Wider, Faster observation runs. Observatories and a radio telescope sit incongruously within several of these nightscapes; remote, yet vigilant. Introduction of colour was influenced by the electromagnetic spectrum and spectrographs, the signature-like charts that reveal a star’s composition, which the artist is becoming increasingly congissant of while at Swinburne’s Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing.
BIOTIC COSMIC series
digital prints on cotton rag archival paper
The artist's lifelong interest in astronomy and the Universe has inspired a body of work she refers to as BIOTIC COSMIC which observes that we and the cosmos share mutual composition and, thus, connection. Her work seeks to convey the visual similarities between human micro-matter, Earth's organic material, cosmic substance and the Universe - reinforcing the understanding of ourselves as entities of the same realm. Pam's BIOTIC COSMIC oeuvre begins with an original painting where the artist's daubs of colour, brushwork and paint splatters make evident, signs of the 'organic' in her work. These are later synthesised with digital processes blending art with technology - speaking to processes applied to the Hubble Space Telescope images.
COSMOS ELECTRIC 1
100cm x 140cm
140cm x 168cm
COSMOS ELECTRIC 2
100cm x 140cm
1m x 1m
1m x 1m
1m x 1m
1m x 1m
50cm x 50cm
OUT THERE INSIDE
50cm x 50cm
THROUGH A PORTAL LIGHTLY
50cm x 50cm
The three above are framed with internal light source (battery operated) - limited edition of 10 - various sizes available
POSSIBLE COSMOS series
30cm x 30cm - digital prints on cotton rag archival paper - limited edition of 10
Possible Cosmos pays tribute to human curiosity, imagination and ingenuity that allows us to uncover new information about ourselves and our environment both near and far. It is with a similar sense of wonder and inventiveness that has led the artist to discover new worlds of visual expression. Reproduced as a digital prints these images originate from the artist’s hand painted work with digital integration, Possible Cosmos aims to convey the uncanny visual resemblance between organic material on Earth, including our own body sphere, and what we can now observe in the Universe.
NEBULA 1. 2 3.
Studies in ink - 2019
BLACK HOLE 1, 2
Inspired by the famous black hole image presented to the world in 2019.
Photographed paper sculptures layered with digital integration.