It’s impossible to see Pam Moxley’s work and not be inspired. We first saw Pam’s work last year at the Anne Neilson Fine Art Gallery, and this January her beautiful pieces were part of the gallery’s first photography exhibition, Through the Lens.
The sepia, black and white and duotone work that Pam creates truly takes you to another world and you can find yourself lost in one of her pieces as you study the beauty of the work she’s created.
The first work of Pam’s that I fell in love with was titled Deep Breath, and now her series (which I’m very happy to find out will be expanding with more pieces in the future) which is made up of three works (Storyteller I, II, III) is my current favorite.
You are a self-taught photographer. When did you first become interested in photography?
I first became interested in photography while in college. I had a work study job in the University darkroom. We developed black and white film and printed silver gelatin prints. It was a great introduction to the medium. I could print before I could take a decent photograph.
What was the first camera you started off with and what is your current camera?
My first camera was a Nikon FM. Learning on a fully manual camera taught me more than I could possibly have learned using a more advanced camera Today, I use a number of different cameras depending on what I plan to do with the image, in particular how large I intend to print it. I create works as large as 12 ft x 12 ft. I tend to go old school and use film particularly in this situation. I still use my Nikon FM, a Bronica SQ and a Canon EOS 50D.
The Storyteller I
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
I would say childhood is my greatest source of inspiration. Memories of my own spark the nostalgia present in much of my imagery. Chronicling the lives of my four children also plays a big part. My images are meant to be timeless. My hope is that the viewer will see themselves, their own children, or even their own parent as a child in the works.
Is there a fellow photographer who inspires you?
Well of course, Sally Mann.
Do you fully plan what you want to photograph in advance (example with pieces like Storyteller) or do you prefer to capture everything in the moment?
I usually think that I have an idea of what I am after. I start a photo shoot with one shot in mind. It rarely ends up with what I intended.
You featured vintage cameras in both Storyteller I and II. Do you have a collection of vintage cameras?
I do have a rather large collection of vintage cameras. It includes several Polaroid Land Cameras, Brownies, Argus, and one fantastic handmade 8 x 10 wooden camera amongst others.
What drew you to creating sepia-toned and black and white photographs in particular?
Most of my imagery is sepia, black and white, and more recently duotones, like The Storyteller series. I use these methods because they help me create that feeling of nostalgia, because the medium itself is basically the definition of vintage.
Tell me about the process of creating one of your pieces?
Once I have finished with the photographic component, I continue to create through several other mediums. My mixed media works are individually created with multiple layers. I start by painting a dimensional board with several layers and textures of paint. I then use an image transfer process that I have developed to add the photograph to the board. When I am finished with this step there is no paper left. I then finish each of my works with a poured layer of high gloss resin. The combination of these techniques brings each of these individual works of art to life. Mixing the distress of the transfers with the brilliance of the resin creates a beautiful mix of nostalgia and high concept polish.
I noticed in both the Storyteller I & II and Deep Breath that you used the same model. Is the model a relative/family friend or someone who just embodies the feel and tone of your work?
Actually, I used my eldest daughter, Ali,to model for Deep Breath. She was 11 years old at the time. Most of my works do feature one or more of my own four children. However, I am very recently an empty nester. Storyteller I and II feature my best friends daughter, Nikki. And surprise there is also a Storyteller III. I plan on expanding this series and hope to use Nikki for these works also.
The Storyteller III
Your work has been featured in publications such as Decor and Traditional Home. What was it like seeing your work in print?
Its incredible to see my work in print. On at least two occasions, I did not even know that my work had be included in the publication. I found out when people who had seen it started emailing me about it. To know that it made an impact on people who read the magazines was amazing. I have also had the pleasure of seeing it in television show and movies. This is usually very quick, you have to watch closely to see it. Having it in print feels much more permanent.
What is your favorite part of working with the team at Anne Neilson leading up to an exhibition?
The best part of working with the team at Anne Neilson, is the collaboration. I love being able to participate in decision of which of my works to show. Anne and her team have a very discerning eye and curate very exciting exhibits. They are fabulous at drawing an incredibly unique and diverse audience to their openings. It is obvious that they spend a great deal of time making sure that every exhibit has its own unique signature.
Follow along with Pam Moxley via the following links…