Pam Buchanan

Tormented Bloom #2
Letterpress Pressure Print
12.5 x 19 inches

Shedding light on experiences that would otherwise be hidden in silence and shame serves as inspiration for my art work.  I create prints, artist books and mixed media collages to develop visual narratives illustrating themes of child abuse and domestic violence.  This allows me to productively channel emotions enmeshed in my own memories of abuse and to provoke dialog, prompting others to share their stories.

I employ an assortment of printmaking techniques, including letterpress, stamp making and various transfer methods.  I particularly enjoy creating pressure prints because the ink disperses in such a way that it creates an overall murkier tone, similar to a rubbing.  The effect can produce sinister and haunting nuances.  Each print is a potential book page or collage element.  Each transfer adds dimension to compositions.  Each hand-carved stamp is another component that creates texture and depth when used in a repetitive manner.  Each book is a story to be shared.  Each collage becomes a resource to stimulate more ideas.

Making art is a daily practice, as is my Buddhist practice.  In addition to sketching, I incorporate word association exercises regularly.  This aids me in developing an expressive visual vocabulary.  In order to tap into the emotional energy that fuels my exploration into painful subjects, I utilize Buddhism to foster a highly mindful creative process, permitting myself to be thrust into the vortex of memory and glean insight from my experiences.  As I move beyond the personal experiential negativity, I reduce images to their most basic form and convert them into something that speaks with universal meaning.  Ultimately, my narratives evolve into stories of perseverance and transformation.