Pamela Shipley

Data Drawing #57 – brca? (2019)
naturally occurring pigments, graphite on board
12 x 12 x 2 in. | $2500

I am compelled by data and ways we perceive truth and construct reality. In my work, I use raw data collected from our natural environment. These data are pure, the result of iteration and evolution. Each work is a data set expressive of my experience, and it evolves from meticulous observation. Marks note my interpretation of the data; the result reflects the unique truth, logic, and beauty that I see.

In “Data Drawings,” I transfer impressions of the data onto my work surface. Often data will exude their own pigment. Then contemplation and study begin. At first, nothing appears distinct. In time, a point or sequence of data points becomes evident, and I make note, marking them with pencil. Marks continue to multiply. Occasionally many data points come into focus at once, inspiring a momentary sense of chaos. Patience returns, and I resume the task of reading and marking. I rotate the panel as I work, which forces me to view the data differently. From experience, I know this patient persistence will allow variables (such as time and light) to reveal nuanced characteristics in the data that would otherwise go unnoticed. This process continues over many sittings and, like a puzzle, ends when it has reached a logical conclusion.

In these works, I explore a process that mimics life and our compulsion to make sense of it with data. Our seemingly common and yet essentially individual experiences shape our perceptions of the world. Being fully conscious of our inherent bias helps us cultivate a more empathetic appreciation for our differences. While my biases certainly direct what viewers initially see in these works, my intention is for viewers to contemplate the data in their own way.

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© Pamela Shipley