King of Prussia, PA
Artist Bio & Statement
With a passion for Fine Art and Photography, Pam McLean-Parker began exhibiting her unique photographs in 1988 while working towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Rosemont College. In the Philadelphia area and beyond her work has appeared on exhibit in galleries and art centers for over two decades and has received numerous awards. Her photo-based artwork has been reviewed by art critics for the Philadelphia Inquirer and has appeared in print including the 2010 and 2015 spring editions of Philadelphia Stories magazine. McLean-Parker’s work has been included in juried and invitational exhibitions at many locations including The Fireside Gallery at the Main Line Unitarian Church in Devon, PA, ArtFusion 19464, Franklin Commons Gallery, Widener University Art Gallery, Goggle Works Center for the Arts, The Greater Norristown Art League, The New Gallery at the E.O. Bull Center for the Arts, Lyceum Hall Center for the Arts in Burlington, New Jersey, The Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College in Collegeville, SPP Galleries, Tyme Gallery, Lawrence Gallery, Muse Gallery, the City of Philadelphia Board of Ethics offices, the West Campus Gallery of Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown, the Philadelphia Sketch Club, The Paoli Cancer Center at Paoli Hospital, Abington Art Center, the Main Line Art Center, the Wayne Art Center, the Upper Merion Township Building, Colourworks in Wilmington, Delaware, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. as well as other galleries and venues. McLean-Parker is a member of MCGOPA (the Montgomery County Guild of Professional Artists) for whom she currently serves as an officer. She also serves on the board of directors for Philadelphia/Tri-State Artists Equity Association with whom she holds a full membership. She has served as photography co-juror for the County Festival of the Arts for the Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs in Norristown, PA and for the Chester County Camera Club at the Chester County Art Center in West Chester, PA. She served on an arts advisory panel with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance in the spring of 2015. In addition to her fine art, McLean-Parker offers a wide array of freelance and portrait photography services.
I have been fascinated with photography my entire life. I have passionately lived with, explored and created with the medium since the 1980s when I was working towards my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Rosemont College in Pennsylvania. I have had good fortune in experiencing photography through light and film and the magic of the darkroom prior to this digital age; the spontaneous and intuitive approach to photography that I discovered in my darkroom-days combined with the endless and exciting options I am now finding in the world of digital photography allows me to create unique images and portraits.
I am challenged and charmed by the photographer’s ability to arrest time, to save the moment, to take what is fleeting and make it permanent and lasting when it is presented as a print. Among many influences, I often return to the vast and dynamic body of work created by Victorian photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron for inspiration. In Cameron, a photographer who always acted according to her instincts, who sought out beautiful natural light, who allowed aesthetics effect and spiritual feeling to dominate her work, I find a kindred spirit.
Through my art, I am a storyteller and a self-proclaimed Pictorialist Photographer. My cameras are my favorite tools. I make images that seek a soft, painterly approach to the medium of photography and create images which convey a sense of layers of time; my approach is often at odds with a medium which is known to capture reality and the natural world but these choices are at the very heart of my intention to use photography as a means of expression. At times I do “record an image” but I often prefer to create an image with an altered reality for which I’ve employed lens or camera movement or digital image enhancement. My pursuit of conceptual and creative photography allows me to create both recorded images as well as created images. In each of these approaches to image making, I often intend to evoke an ethereal vision of my subject designed to contemplate the energy of spirit and eternity.
Much of my recent photo-based work is from a trip to England during which time I visited The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Bath and London’s Westminster Abbey, Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Kensal Green Cemetery. It was my intention to create images of these sacred spaces that showed both that which could be seen as well as the elusive but palpable sensation of that which could not be seen- the resonance of time and energy and spirit that permeates these places for me.