Pam Douglas | Sanctuary – Shelters
For Immediate Release
Pam Douglas ǀ Sanctuary
A solo exhibition
Dates: January 20 to February 13, 2021
Reception: January 23, 3-7pm pst (masks required)
Artist Talks (online):
WithYemisi Oyenisi January 28, 3pm pst
With Shana Nys Dambrot February 4, 3pm pst
With Raya Yarbrough February 11, 3pm pst
Location: TAG Gallery
5458 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles 90036
“When Pam Douglas shapes an installation, she shapes a world – one that grabs viewers by the heart and gut, and twists both with the power and emotion she presents.” Genie Davis, Artillery/Art and Cake contributor
Sanctuary: An Installation of Hope and Determination by Pam Douglas
(Los Angeles) – When encountering LA Artist Pam Douglas’s multi-part project “Sanctuary”, viewers become immersed in the journey of hardship and hope undertaken by refugees across the globe.
For her Sanctuary solo exhibition running January 20 to February 13, 2021 at TAG Gallery, artist Pam Douglas immerses viewers in a 6000 sf environment where desperation and resolve meet hope and humanity. Two artist talks are scheduled for 3pm Thursday January 28 and Thursday February 4, 2021.
For this exhibition, Douglas created over 50 individual elements, evolving over three years to tell a pressing current story of refugees seeking a better life. Her visceral reaction to migrant children torn from their parents and caged at the U.S./Mexican border spurred the first part of Sanctuary. She responded with life-size mixed-media drawings of figures walking to what they believed would be safety, while children grasp ropes suggesting how they are trapped. Faces drawn in careful detail and raw sensitivity inspire viewers to feel the tenacity required to make these journeys and the dreams of finding sanctuary.
Responding to news reports of families risking drowning in the Mediterranean Sea fleeing climate change, violence and poverty, Douglas crafted Sanctuary Part Two with symbolic three-dimensional rafts that escape from a dark mural across the gallery floor. These continue her limited palette of charcoal and chalk, twine and wood on natural linen and tan burlap, encouraging us to focus on the struggle and beauty of the faces so tenderly rendered.
Wanting to inspire hope, the third and final phase of the Sanctuary journey arrives at shelters and the promise that life will go on, especially for the children. Douglas drew and sculpted families settled in tents and she hints at ordinary life resuming with a laundry place and a one-room school, suggesting the children could have a future.
In addition to the tents, Part Three has a symbolic clinic run by Doctors Without Borders, the medical lifeline in many camps. The exhibit will raise funds for their work through sales of small prints.
Art critic Shana Nys Dambrot reviewed Douglas’ 2017 solo show in the Huff Post: “Pam Douglas is steeped in the magical way assemblage creates meaning. But she also excels at using paint, light, and line to modify and repurpose her finds into thematic compositional elements of powerful narratives.”
Douglas’ work has been critically acclaimed by Scarlet Cheng, contributor to Artillery and the Los Angeles Times: “Pam Douglas adeptly combines drawing, painting and assemblage. …Her work so often expresses the universal polarities that define human existence. This cycle is joyful and sublime.”
About Pam Douglas
Pam Douglas has an extensive exhibition history including the California African American Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her work was featured in the Los Angeles Art Show at the Convention Center, 2019 by the Los Angeles Art Association.