Pam Glew: Raising the Flag for Bold Design

1 February 2017

With an eye for vintage fabrics and a unique bleaching technique, Pam Glew gives bold new life to everything from denim jeans to vintage quilts and world flags.

What did you do with your last pair of worn-out jeans? 

Did you throw them away, or donate them to a fabric bank? Maybe you cut them off at the knee in readiness for summer style. We’re willing to bet that you didn’t turn them into a one-of-a-kind portrait.

With an eye for vintage fabrics and a unique bleaching technique, Pam Glew gives bold new life to everything from denim jeans to vintage quilts and world flags - and this month, we’re proud to host some of her stunning artworks in our gallery.

As a teenager in Northern Cornwall, Pam was equally inspired by both art and music and was a member of various rock bands while she filled her sketchbooks with portraits. This rock’n’roll heritage is apparent both in the style and subjects of her art, with Sid Vicious, Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones amongst her muses.

Celebrities are not just the subjects of Pam’s art - they’re also amongst her biggest fans. Her work can be found at Saatchi & Saatchi, Red Bull and Mitsubishi bank, and has been shown alongside Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin in major exhibitions across the globe. 

As well as a year-long commission for Armani, she has worked with Ralph Lauren, MTV and Microsoft, lending her artistic touch to all manner of multimedia.

Her retro yet realistic images are created by dying vintage textiles black, before hand-painting with household bleach in multiple layers to gradually pick out the portrait.

The style makes strong use of negative space, with each expertly-crafted portrait emerging from darkness to grab the attention. This technique also allows the original print of the textile to emerge, giving the finished piece an extra dimension.

Pam is particularly inspired by the meanings implied through fabrics, with flags taking a prominent place in her artworks. "Flags hold power for me,” she says, “but when I use them now they are more about heritage and identity.”

Indeed, the question of identity is one that constantly comes up when exploring Pam’s style - from portraits of well-known idols to defiant young women superimposed on red, white and blue. 

With heritage, patriotism and fierce self-expression all coming into play, these innovative pieces are an uncompromising look at what defines an icon.

Pam Glew’s art is available to view by appointmet only at the Bozboz gallery, 30 Richmond Place, Brighton, BN2 9NA until March 2017. To arrange a private viewing please contact Lee Lim at [email protected] or call 01273 727581.

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