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Heart. Attack

15,000.00
Heart-attack.jpg

Heart. Attack

15,000.00

Pamela Merory Dernham (2017)

48 x 144 x 3 in. 

Powder coated steel wire

see more by this artist +

more artworks available in gallery. contact us to schedule an appointment / request images / for shipping information.

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Pamela Merory Dernham (2017)

48 x 144 x 3 in. 

Powder coated steel wire

see more by this artist +

more artworks available in gallery. contact us to schedule an appointment / request images / for shipping information.

Click here to read more about Pam Merory Dernham

Heart. Attack
Our values are the heartbeat of our identity as Americans. In my sculpture, "Heart. Attack.",  I have made a graphic representation of the effect on our national heartbeat of the motives of tribalism, selfishness, and greed .

Our country is at a crisis point.  Our President is a corrupt businessman who cares only about himself and not the people who elected him.  The thirst for wealth among super rich white men, along with the collusion of the Republican Party, appears to be unquenchable.  These people would decimate health care, drive more people into poverty, and put our planet in peril.  

The values of the United States are laid out in 2 documents. The Declaration of Independence proclaims our "inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  The Preamble to the Constitution proclaims that we will "establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." 

The EKG is a test which graphically displays the health of the heart.  The pattern of a healthy heart is called a normal sinus rhythm.  Aberrations or diseases of the heart create different, characteristic patterns.  I have used three different patterns to explore our national heartbeat in "Heart. Attack."

The first section on the left, the normal sinus rhythm, represents our experience of the stability of our national heartbeat when our representatives govern through compromise.  This expectation of representative government was not shared by all of us.  Those who slammed up against its barriers, particularly African Americans, had only the advantage of knowing what they were up against.  White Americans have been largely oblivious to this barrier and to the truth that they have been privileged.  Still, within this pattern social progress was made.  

The second section represents tachycardia, a speeded-up heartbeat.  I believe this pattern started with the backlash of fear in the white, mostly male tribe as aresponse to the social progress in our country.  People like Newt Gingrich drove the "us versus them" mentality.

It also represents our speeded-up heartbeat from the election of Barack Obama as our first African American president.  On the one hand there was the excitement of a great, historic achievement.  On the other hand there was the anxiety and fear of those who felt they were losing their advantage.  The tensions between these 2 groups were epitomized by the candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

The third section represents the heart attack we are suffering because of and since the election of Donald Trump. This president is the very embodiment of the motives of tribalism, selfishness, and greed that fuel corruption, and destroy our social contract to provide health care, a more equal distribution of wealth, and to protect our planet.  He could derail our national heartbeat and kill what our country used to stand for.  

My questions are these: can we respond to the motives that have brought us to this point of crisis?  Can we come to terms with our historic wrongs of slavery, and of sexism, that have made a mockery of our stated values?  Can we reclaim and live our values?

Our only hope is that shocked and frightened out of our complacency, we join forces, right our historic wrongs, and truly embrace the values that have defined us.  And made this country the one that draws people who want to make a better life.  Including the Trumps.

Statement
"I have always been attracted to making figurative sculpture because of my love of the human form and my fascination with physical, intellectual, and emotional interactions.  For much of the history of art, the figure has been used to tell the stories of a culture.  Among the most compelling sculptures for me are the Pre Columbian and Egyptian tombs, Indian temples, and European churches.  Though I can never have the direct experience of these cultures, their figurative art draws me through its power to evoke reactions, feelings, and memories of my own.
In my own art what I desire to create are figurative sculptural works that do not have specific narrative intent and yet evoke meaning for the viewer.  We live in a world of innumerable cultures, languages, and beliefs.  What we ultimately share is our humanity, and my goal is to reach others across our particular belief systems.  
To make my sculptures I begin with individual figures “drawn” with steel wire.  Wire is an excellent medium for me to create expressive gestures in a direct and rapid way.  I group the figures until I achieve a formal balance to the composition, refining the overall look of the piece rather than what story it might be telling.  At the same time, I think about each figure as a person making a gesture, and how the figures appear to interact.  This includes the beauty of a line or a curve in a single body, as well as the progression of the hands or feet through the whole composition.  My sculptures communicate on these multiple levels and invite viewers through these points of entry to find the meaning of the work to them."

Pamela Merory Dernham is an Oakland, California-based artist who exhibits nationally and whose work is collected internationally.  Currently Merory Dernham is represented by Vessel Gallery in Oakland.  In September 2011 she installed two large sculptures for the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, Ca.  The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art presented “Go Figure”, a solo exhibit of her work in 2008.  Merory Dernham was the alternate choice for a lobby sculpture at 545 Madison Avenue in New York in 2007.  That same year she was also a featured artist at the “SOFA: Sculptural Objects and Functional Art” Exposition in Chicago, and in an exhibit devoted to wire sculpture, for the Mowen Solinsky Gallery of Nevada City. She has exhibited her work extensively in the Bay Area, including California College of the Arts (2006), San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (2005), and a solo exhibit at the di Rosa Preserve (2004).  She has also exhibited at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, the California State Building in Oakland, Oakland City Hall, The Jewish Museum of San Francisco, and Gensler Architects in San Francisco.   She is also a guest artist at ArtHaus Gallery in San Francisco.  Merory Dernham’s work is included in the collections of Rene di Rosa, actor Gillian Anderson, Academy Award and Olympic lighting designer Bob Wilkinson, super-computer designer Walter Brooks, Robin Lail of Lail Vineyards, and international business consultant Tom Peters. Merory Dernham earned her Master of Fine Arts Degree at the California College of the Arts (CCA).  She is an active member of the Pacific Rim Sculptors Group and was also active in the Alumni Council of CCA.  She is a yearly contributor to the Art for Aids and di Rosa Preserve auctions. She is represented by Vessel Gallery (www.vessel-gallery.com, 510-893-8800.) For more information, email info@vessel-gallery.com