Monday, March 16, 2020

Art Saturna Artist Interview: Pamala Page

Pamala Page is an artist who has worked in many mediums and is currently enjoying working with textiles. I met her in her home which sits atop a hill where she and her husband Larry enjoy a beautiful view of Tumbo Channel. 

How did you come to live on Saturna?

My husband’s sister, Leigh Field, lives here and we have been coming to visit her for a few years now. In August of 2018, before boarding the ferry, we stopped by Dockside Realty, saw a listing for Tumbo Channel Road, and within a few days we had an accepted offer. Our condo in Courtenay sold quickly. We are thrilled to have this acre of land with an ocean view. 

Tell me about yourself and your art.
I’ve always been a creative person. When I was a young child, I was often writing and collecting things such as feathers, pebbles, shells and any other detritus that looked interesting. When I married and had children, I continued knitting, crocheting, ceramics, sewing, and making pottery. It was important for me to have a creative outlet and time away from the demands of parenting. Twelve years ago, when we went to Mexico I became serious about my art and began making and exhibiting sea glass jewelry which sold very quickly. I became known as the 'Sea Glass Lady.'  Doing the same thing over and over bores me so I explore different mediums. Currently, I am really loving working with fibre and texture as it seems to bring together so many mediums that I work in, such as machine embroidery, quilting, fabric books, and many others. 

How did you become an artist?
I am completely self-taught. I had always dabbled in the arts but during my professional life it fell to the wayside. I was too busy. Now that my husband (Larry) and I are retired we have the time to dedicate to our art. After all the art work we have done in Mexico, we feel comfortable calling ourselves artists. 

What is your inspiration?
I’m a collector of anything in nature. I always bring home stuff in my pocket. Nature inspires me, so living here has been a great inspiration. Walking the trails, listening to the birds, and beach combing -  that is when I am at peace. 

What are you working on now?
What I would really like right now is a studio! (Laughs) We’ve been so busy with visitors since we moved here, plus we put in a huge garden, and are currently in the middle of a renovation, so there hasn’t been much time for art-making.  Most of my textiles and fibre supplies are still in storage as we renovate so I am working on more manageable projects like knitting and spinning. I am also making mixed media journals using fabric, stitching, and watercolour paper. I am also making little houses using left over fabric. 

Tell me about a piece of your work that you are really happy with and why. 
This elephant quilt reminds me of the time that we spent in Uganda.  It was such a life-changing experience and I was filled with ideas and inspiration. During our time in Uganda, we spent a day with an instructor creating dyed fabrics using many different techniques. The cloth was made into a piece of clothing for each of us and I asked for the leftover fabric which I brought home with me.  The elephant is made from left over pieces of dyed cloth and is a constant memory of our time in Africa. 

What’s the best thing about living on Saturna?
Oh my, it is a long list as there are so many things!  We love the quiet serenity of our little piece of Saturna and at night it is very dark and the sky is filled with stars. We are visited by deer who roam freely on our property. We have feeders for the Hummingbirds, Chic-a-dees, Northern Flickers, Towhees, Juncos, Woodpeckers and any other bird who stops by for a snack. Each day we watch the soaring Eagles and hear the cry of the Raven. The island is rugged and untouched as much of it is parkland. The community is small but connected with locals always reaching out to help others. Slowly we are meeting our neighbours and learning their stories.

Anything you would like to add?
I would like to thank you, Monica for the interview.  

You can see more of Pamala’s work at The Fibre Network:

Interview by Monica Morten