Past & Present — works by Pam Davison


“Dreams echoing the memories of time” (2018) pigment print on museo max archival paper

A multi-sensory installation, by Artist Pam Davison in collaboration with Linda Britten, Victoria Whitelaw, Tim Britten-Finschi, Cameron Menzies and Russell Goldsmith, which took place during Melbourne Fashion Week in 2018. It took place at fortyfivedownstairs theatre space, and invited guests to explore their own memories by journeying around the installation filled with the soundscape of nostalgia.


"the whispering forest of memories" (2017), Digital archive print on Bhutan Mitsumata paper, mixed media.

The whispering forest of memories was a fully immersive installation that created a metaphysical 'forest of memories'. Pam Davison reunited with couture designer Linda Britten for the project, along with artistic director Cameron Menzies’ and designer Tim Britten-Finschi to examine, grow and challenge the notion of the interactive installation.


"MEMORIES ARE THE FABRIC OF A FAMILY" (2017), Digital archive print on Sihl Masterclass Baryta paper. 

Exploring the tenacious relationship between memories, family and belonging, this unique exhibition ran for one-night only. Guests were treated to a full sensory experience which included photography, gowns created with a collage of collected family images, classic music and ballet. Guests were also asked to participate in creating a 'collective memory', by bringing the piece of fabric sent to them in the mail, and placing it on the wall to create a new work, symbolising the selective and complex nature of memories.


"to whom it may concern" (2013), Digital print on Bhutan Mitsumata archival paper.

Davison began her working life as a secretary/personal assistant/stenographer in a law office, at a time well before there was a PC on every desk. This body of work is both a memory piece and a meditation. It is the memory of this way of life that animates this body of work. Davison sought to capture and celebrate that elegance, accuracy and precision of the legal secretary’s work. The meditation comes from the confronting recognition that this way of life is gone or going. The accessibility of PC’s and lap tops means that the skills of the secretary have diminished and the role and the status changed forever. The images are shadowed and denatured, recalling the sepia of old photographs but also suggesting the passing of the light and of a way of life. 


"Things my mother did" (2009), Digital archival ink printed on silver rag

It all started with a memory of her mother dressed like a movie star for the Cottee’s Ball. And then, a contrasting memory of her ironing, neatly placing her pressed clothes on a chair. In this body of work, Davison explores the “things my mother did”, acts that were full of love and care, and not merely thankless chores that Davison may have considered them to be from a child’s point of view.


"moments of imperfections" (2008), Digital print on Silver Rag archival paper.

The idea of memory has interested Davison for a number of years, particularly how we as people remember and recall them. Memories can be forgotten, remembered differently over time. Details always change. In this body of work, Davison explores her own memory, breaking down her memories, trying to uncover falsehoods and misconceptions.