Artist Sian Pampellonne’s mixed media paintings capture the soul of her subjects with raw emotion and vibrancy. Visit her website to see more.
As an artist I am entirely tactile. Everything becomes immersed in the process. My hands, fingers, any brush large or small, kitchen spatula and tool, even a random piece of cardboard that happens to be near me.
Found objects include glass from shattered windscreens, abandoned Lego blocks, empty shotgun cartridge shells, fabrics, builder’s nails, beads and buttons. All these and more become a part of the stories I tell. When I pick something up, I don’t always know what I need it for, but I do know it will eventually become the cornerstone of a painting.
I am a third generation of artists, growing up in a creative space where experimentation and self-expression was a part of daily life. I was guided from a young age by my grandfather who encouraged me to express myself using what I found in his studio.
At first glance, it may look like I paint portraits of people and creatures, real or imagined, but it is more than that for me. I process circumstances, history and feelings by painting subjects against the backdrop of the world that in turn envelops them.
Each one of my pieces is about growth and discovery. I ask myself a question and the image that emerges is a response from my feelings, my humanity and my emotions. An expression of my truth. For example, “What is the impact of colonialism on today’s society?” Or, “How do I grapple with a failed relationship?” The answers may be revealed in the painting of a girl, her golden halo adorned with spent shotgun shells and nails as in “Your Armour,” while the answer to another may appear as an octopus trying to “let go” while in motion from “Through the Open Water.”
My earlier work was charged with emotion in my effort to reconcile many different experiences. These pieces became an extension of my confusion—an imperfect mix of aggressive brushstrokes and wild colours. Yet, at the same time, they were intimate and emotive in their interpretation as in “In Silence.”
As an animal lover, dogs are an integral part of my studio and life, so painting pet portraits is a huge honour. I pour my energy into each piece, for example, “Prime” and “Bear,” capturing their personality and spirit.
While my palette choices have produced multi-coloured tentacles, yellow and blue bees, or haunting blue faces, I don’t typically choose these colours ahead of time. My pieces come together while I’m painting and as the muse takes me.
At this time, my art has become more introspective. The finished pieces have a refinement about their paint strokes that was not there before. I’m still painting with the same emotions, but I believe I am adding new thought processes and layers to my work which has come with experience.
I hope that my personal encounters with the world that I put on canvas are thought provoking. I tell a story that pulls the viewers in, asking them to stop and think.