Pam Glew Artist Biography
Pam Glew is a well established contemporary artist who is known for her unique techniques with fabric and bleach. She specialises in portraiture and paints using bleach on dyed vintage textiles to create captivating faces that emerge subtly from the darkness. Pam Glew was born in 1978. She grew up in Northern Cornwall, "as a teenager I was one of the weird grunge kids with a sketch book", admits Glew. She was in various rock bands and around the age of 18 she remembers making the choice between music and art, "thankfully I chose art, I'm a much better artist than I would ever be as a musician." She went to art college and later moved to Brighton, where she is still based today. Her art influences are quite eclectic and include Andy Warhol, Egon Schiele, Robert Rauschenberg and Annette Messager. In her work she draws influence from film and pop-cultural icons such as models, musicians and actresses. The likes of Lily Cole, Michael Jackson, Kate Moss and Jean-Michel Basquiat have all featured in her unique paintings. Glew's intention is for the viewer to reassess common held ideas regarding idols, patriotism and heritage.
Flags, brocade and American quilts provide an unusual surface to paint on in Glew's work. Her use of flags was inspired by the reactions she saw worldwide to 9/11 and how the US flag had a polarising visual impact in different countries. "Flags hold power for me, but when I use them now they are more about heritage and identity. I think the world flags are the most powerful", explains Glew. Her process of creating her work involves the sourcing of a vintage textile which is then dyed black or dark navy blue. After that it is washed to remove to excess dye, dried and hung taught ready for painting. Next household bleach is applied with sponges and brushes. The bleach corrodes the dye and is then washed off. The material is dried and ironed before another coat of bleach is added, sometimes up to 10 layers. Pam Glew is a prolific artist and has shown her work worldwide in over 100 group shows. She has also had 6 major solo exhibitions to date. Her enthralling paintings have been hung alongside artistic heavyweights such as Peter Blake, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. She often gets commissioned by musicians, "Goldie has a large Jean-Michel Basquiat and Bill Wyman has a union jack I painted using Terry O'Neills portrait of Jean Shrimpton and Terence Stamp." She has also been commission by well known brands such as Armani, Ralph Lauren and Red Bull. Read our editorial featuring Pam Glew.