In her first solo exhibition at Marlborough Contemporary, Pamela Golden uses multiple mediums to bring together the idea of lost history. Inspired by a found photo album from 1912, Golden retraces the history of a group of choirboys on a trip to Abergele, bringing together several layers of enigmatic narrative.
Prince Madoc, the Welsh king, is said to have sailed from North Wales to America in 1170, discovering it centuries before Columbus. Numerous sightings of his phantom ship off the coast of Abergele serve as a ghostly reminder of his erasure from history.
Good Morning! Mister Williams. brings this story and location back to life by juxtaposing an ancient myth and mystery with one more modern. The title, like the images of the exhibition, is appropriated from an old photograph album from the early twentieth century. All original meaning is long lost.
Best known for miniature paintings in oil and encaustic, Golden has created a new series of intensely worked paintings, each no larger than 8 x 5 cm, that owe their source to found photographic images – playful, enigmatic images which, detached from their origins, come together to form new associations and narratives.
In parallel to these small scale works, Golden has, for the first time, developed a new series of paintings at a much larger scale of 150 x 110 cm. The imagery is derived from the same sources, as well as new photographs taken at the same locations, more than a century later, overlaid as shadowy commentary on each other, or time lapses at the same scene. These have been intensely worked using Sumi watercolour technique, lending iridescent intensity to the surface of the painting.
Golden has also recorded a soundtrack to the exhibition, featuring Roshi Nasehi, the Welsh Iranian singer, together with music, production and arrangements by Samuel Frank. The album is a dreamscape of layered experimental space country, folk and pop beats, citing Led Zeppelin to Persian nursery rhymes, via field recordings made in Abergele and London.
The album is released in a limited edition of 250 copies on vinyl, of which 25 are hand-coloured and signed by the artist.
A fully illustrated catalogue will be published, including a dialogue between the artist and David Sedaris.
Good Morning! Mister Williams. continues at Marlborough Contemporary until 15 February.
Pamela Golden lives and works in London. She was born in Chicago, and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She moved to London in 1989, and has since exhibited widely, including a solo show at the Gulbenkian Foundation in 2004.