I have loved and worked with fabrics and threads for most of my life. I have always been drawn to collage and mixed media work. This allows me the freedom to experiment with many hard and soft materials along the path of water patterns, places, feelings and expressions.
In nature perhaps nothing is as paradoxical in its qualities and in our reactions to it as water. It falls from above, it springs from below; it’s hot and it’s cold; we love it and we fear it. Growing up in the land-locked middle of the country and then living on the coast and on an island has given me a love of vast deep water and a respect of it as well. Whether calm or turbulent it has great power, beauty and mystery. To bring these contrasts to life in my meditations on the sea, I have used a dye and paint process on the organza and non-woven polyester fabrics to mark patterns and folds into the materials. In addition I use copper foil, gold and copper leaf and paint on paper. These are layered and stitched by hand or with a hand guided free-motion embroidery on the machine.
My mixed media works are about traces of past and future, about layers of meaning as well as layers of materials. They are about time and place, nature and our interconnected role. Water’s edge to water’s depths are my time and place.
In October 2000, The Washington Post reviewed Uncommon Threads: Embroidery As A Fine Art exhibit and had this to say, "Others take the preoccupation with surface and texture in a sculptural direction. Pam Sullivan's abstract 'Sea Stories' contrast hand-dyed and stitched fabric with hand-torched slabs of copper foil. They're tough, mysterious, and loaded with presence."