Pam Douglas’ newest exhibition, “Rhythms” began in a doctor’s office where she lay hooked up to an electrocardiogram – an EKG machine.
As she watched the lines form on the scrolling paper, Douglas was fascinated with the cadences, the peaks and rests that described her heart. Those series of rhythms inspired this newest series of paintings.
As Douglas explored, she asked, “What’s happening in the world that makes the heart clench?” She thought about the fear and hostility in our current political and social landscapes. Those anxieties bred mixed-media works using newspaper headlines intertwined with the EKG lines. She also asked, “What helps the heart release?” The answer led to a monochromatic landscape constructed from an EKG that flat-lines into light.
Douglas’ palette of materials increased as these layers of meaning called for tougher mediums – rope, string, sand, as well as newsprint and paint. Representational elements – hands and birds – joined with abstractions.
Exploring this series further, Douglas’ subjects extended far beyond heartbeats. Waves of sound make similar rhythms, as do phases of nature. From heartbeats to sound waves, our lives are measured in pulses of energy. We sense universal tempos in the timing of our days.