“In my work I allude to my own nomadic upbringing through references to travel, searching and migration as a way of understanding my own shifting, transnational, cultural identity. As a child moving with my family to a different country every two years, I felt at time profoundly isolated from people and my surroundings, and at other times felt deeply connected to the landscapes and bodies around me. I am interested, then, in cultural residue: those traces that are communicated — as story, as ritual, as “mouth music” — and are transmitted between bodies and across landscapes. I am also interested in what happens psychologically in the moments of cultural isolation that accompany travel, migration and other processes of (dis)location. In my work I respond to these moments by replicating myself — creating simultaneous selves and simultaneous worlds in order to haze at myself, to meet myself and give myself things to keep or carry, receive or transmit. These notions of simultaneity and transmission often surface in my work as repetition, as play, and as ritual. My work navigates between and negotiates with essentialized notions of blackness and Africanity while asserting a definition of self that is always unfixed, always in flux.” Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum was born in Mochudi, Botswana and grew up living in different parts of Africa and southeast Asia. She came to the United States in 1998 and received a BA with Highest Honors in International Studies with a concentration in Trans-national Cultures from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sunstrum received her MFA from the Mt Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Shelives in Baltimore Maryland and is an artist in residence at the Baltimore Creative Alliance. She currently teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art.She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally and was featured by Marcia Wood Gallery at the 2008 PULSE Miami Art Fair. She was included in the 2008 exhibition, “Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image since 1970” at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX. The upcoming exhibition “see you again” will be Sunstrum’s first solo exhibition at Marcia Wood Gallery.