Pam Glew is one of the most significant female urban artists working today. She is perhaps best-known for her powerful series of cinematic paintings, in which she combines striking portraits of women with unique bleaching techniques on vintage fabrics and flags. SlamxHype was excited to chat to her about life in Brighton, what inspires her, and how she interprets the nature of the art market.
SXH: Can you tell us a bit about where you are from?
Pam Glew: I grew up in Cornwall in a little surf town called Bude, a sleepy part of the Westcountry in England, surrounded by the sea and spent my formative years mucking about in woods and making fires on cliffs.
SXH: What did you want to be when you were a child?
Pam Glew: A doctor, but I faint at the sight of blood.
SXH: How did you get your first breakthrough?
Pam Glew: I’ve had lots of little breaks, getting my proper solo show at Fairtrade Gallery in Brighton was one of them, and my first group show in USA was another, so I think Carmichael gave me a helpful leg-up.
SXH: Where do you find inspiration and influence on a daily basis?
Pam Glew: I get a lot of ideas from films (film noir, video nasties, zombie flicks), also the news, politics, the internet, music, fashion, looking at peoples faces, snippets of conversations. I often get good ideas when I’m on a long train journey.
SXH: Anyone you desire to work with/for?
Pam Glew: I’d like to do some work with a fashion designer and take my fabric work in a new direction. I’ve recently been toying with the idea of wearable art, which I guess is fashion.
SXH: What’s the best thing about the city you live in?
Pam Glew: Brighton is very bohemian; I love the people, everyone is creative in their own way, there are a lots of artists, musicians and freaks. And plenty of pubs to choose from for a good Sunday roast.
SXH: Where is the best place to eat?
Pam Glew: At my gaff, because my bloke makes a mean curry. Or at a mate’s house, with copious wine and good conversation.
SXH: Best shop in your city?
Pam Glew: Snoopers Paradise - a massive flea market emporium full of vintage clothes/ textiles/ antiques/ junk/ crap and some real gems. i can spend hours rummaging and often find flags for my work.
SXH: Best gallery in your city?
Pam Glew: Ink’d Gallery are a great space as they have their finger on the pulse for the next big thing and show the good end of urban art. Also Fairtrade Gallery in Brighton gave me my first solo show and do beautiful intimate gigs and they make all my frames too.
SXH: Favourite place to visit?
Pam Glew: Hard to choose between Paris, Berlin & Barcelona and anywhere that does a good chai tea latte.
SXH: What do you think of the current climate of the art scene?
Pam Glew: It’s changing again, I see more diversity and a return to good drawing and technical skills, there definitely a turn towards narrative in art and a lot of great illustrators coming out.
SXH: What artists are changing the way we think at the moment?
SXH: Any artists that perhaps we should look out for?
Pam Glew: Joseph Loughborough and Jim Sanders are both really strong artists who I recently exhibited with. Joe has a great eye and such a natural style, and Jim has an equally identifiable style that nods to outsider art and looks almost tribal.
SXH: Where do you see the art scene in 10 years time?
Pam Glew: Hopefully with less band-wagon jumping, and more artists doing it for the love. I think the backlash will go to fine art which has the influence of street and urban movements, but with more grit and meaning, less school boy joke posters.
SXH: Whats green, fluffy and lives in your second drawer?
Pam Glew: A bunny finger puppet knitted by my mate’s mum.