Pamela Ritchie is the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Saidye Bronfman Award, the foremost distinction in excellence in Canadian contemporary craft and one of the Governor General’s Awards. She will be among the artists featured in the upcoming SEEING RED exhibition at Crafthouse. Ritchie is represented by Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h in Montreal and recently exhibited there in a retrospective titled: A Quiet Unfolding of Ideas – a tribute to her 40 year career as an artist.
She was first attracted by the theatre world, but soon moved her focus on to jewellery, a field that allowed her to express her creativity while experimenting with a large panel of concepts and ideas. More than pure aesthetics, Pamela Ritchie’s work stands on a very thoughtful process and deep reflexion. She studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and has been a jewellery design teacher there since 1985. She has participated in more than a hundred solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the United States, Australia, Japan, Korea and Europe and is regularly invited to lecture in Canada and abroad. She enjoys a well deserved international recognition of her work.
CANCELLED ICONS is a series she started working on in 1982 and along with ideas around travel and a sense of image or portrait, was born from her questioning of value. The stamps she uses “displace the hierarchical position of gemstones in jewellery and therefore toy with the issue of preciousness. Equating value with the materials used, as is often done with jewellery, ignores the value of the aesthetic experience.”
For Pamela Ritchie, making art is a fascinating process imbued with ideas. She sees jewellery making as “a process of searching for meaning and a way of expressing what I find, a search for some understanding of the complexity of existence, a complexity which is both fascinating and painful”. It is compelling to her that such a small and ‘insignificant’ object can produce such a burst of possibilities and questioning and hold such meaning.