Pamela Honeyfield’s exhibition ‘Stream of Consciousness’ takes us on a journey, through her emotive sensory experience of landscape. Her embodied mark-making lead us toward a vibrancy and musicality of atmosphere and light, to the edge of their depth and possibility. The work will often take on a life of its own and each colour and brush stroke made, will dictate the next.
Spontaneity and rhythm are central in this narrative. In her art-making process, listening to music informs an affinity for the improvisational. It engages the mind and makes us move, her favourite being the rock of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, often singing and dancing while painting, never staying still. For Honeyfield, part of what inspires her is the ‘happenings’ that exist within this instinctual approach to painting. The music and the action of painting being integral to the process of collecting and transcribing her unique visual language. Working mostly with oils on large scale canvas or linen, Honeyfield purposefully engages her whole body into each work. In this dance and embodied relationship with the canvas, she allows the colour and the placement of marks and shapes to play and interact. It’s the participation of colour as they sit next to or on top of each other, the way one will cancel out the other, that prompts the development of each brush stroke. This is where one must make the decisions about what to keep and what to knock back. Human observation and memory ground the gestural marks, recalling the experience of environment and imbuing it with expressionistic colour, and texture.
Pamela Honeyfield’s artistic practice is situated within the tradition of Australian abstract landscape painting. Following the footsteps of great Australian painting legacies, she attended the National Art School (NAS) from 1989 to 1991. Her practice nurtured in the heart of Sydney, embodies a timeless preoccupation with the landscape and one’s place within it. Insisting on a woman’s place within a historically male dominated genre, her gravitation toward abstraction operates to capture fleeting yet poignant moments of consciousness. It’s in the studio that she “gets a sense that everything is in its right place. Where the past, present and future can be brought together”. After she completed her Diploma in Fine Art at NAS, Honeyfield decided to pursue her interest in psychology, completing a Masters in Art Therapy in 1995.
Honeyfield’s exhibition, ‘Stream of Consciousness’ speaks to a passion for remote and arid landscapes. Travels in the Painted Desert and Monument Valley in the US, as well as back home in Australia inspires an inner dialogue that circulates the joy of colour, texture and movement in space. She says, “I get a real sense of the land, a mood. I sometimes get an emotional response to the places I go”. Despite a love for water and swimming, she always comes back to the unique outback colours; the red dirt, the trees and the grey green leaves. Striking and ubiquitous painted lines evoke a captivation with the temper of vast space, the rising peaks and falling valleys. Within Honeyfield’s work there is an affinity with environment, with the dappled light that plays in the afternoons, the long shadows of a winter’s day. This is a language of emotion and connection of place that recalls the vitality of her footsteps moving through space. How do we translate that feeling of being somewhere, of moving within landscape? What does it mean for landscape to live inside us?
‘Stream of Consciousness’ presents a series of gestural documents, archiving Honeyfield’s sensitive perception of landscape, capturing the raw energy of places travelled and experienced. She says, “Most of my landscape works are not of a ‘real’ place, but they are about me and my journey, often presented as a landscape metaphor”.
Claire de Carteret
Independent curator and writer
Pamela Honeyfield: Artist Statement & Bio
Pamela Honeyfield’s artistic practice is situated within the tradition of Australian abstract landscape painting. Working mostly with oils on large scale canvas or linen, the works embody a timeless preoccupation with the landscape and one’s position within it, insisting on a woman’s place within a historically male dominated genre.
She says, “The work will often take on a life of its own and each colour and brush stroke made, will dictate the next. In this dance and relationship with the surface, I allow the colour and the placement of marks and shapes to play and interact”.
Her paintings are gestural documents of the artist’s sensitive perception of landscape, capturing the mood, atmosphere and raw energy of places travelled and experienced. Music and the action of painting are integral to the process of collecting a visual language and translating the inner dialogue of the artist. Here, it is observation and memory that ground the gestural mark-making, recalling the experience of environment and imbuing it with expressionistic colour, movement and texture.
For Honeyfield, “There are many variables when creating a work and you have to be willing to lose and regain images until it's resolved. The best marks made and paintings created are when I seemingly disappear for a while in my work, and when I return I know that I have had some kind of 'happening' with the canvas”.
Pamela is a Sydney based artist and works from her studio at One Plus 2 Artist Studios, Lilyfield. Pamela attended the National Art School at Darlinghurst Sydney 1989 - 1991, completing her Diploma in Fine Art, then went on to complete her Masters in Art Therapy at the University of Western Sydney Nepean in 1994 - 1995.
Pamela's art works have been acquired by Allen Arthur Robinson Collection in Sydney. She has been a finalist in numerous Art Awards such as The Blake Prize, The Paddington Art Prize, NSW Parliament Plein Air, Pro Hart Broken Hill Outback Art Prize, Stanthorpe Art Prize - Queensland, and The John Leslie Art Prize - Victoria. Pamela's works are in private collections across Australia and in countries such as France, Canada, USA, Japan, England and Hong Kong. Pamela won the overall $10,000 2014 Gosford Regional Gallery Art Prize, won the $15,000 Gosford Regional Gallery Art Prize again in 2015 for her work 'Dusk Falls Across The Flinders', and most recently won the 2019 Hunters Hill Art Prize for her work 'Saulėtekis'.