Pamela Shipley is a New Jersey-based artist who works with natural forms of data to inspire her mixed media paintings. She traces an attraction to data back to her youth. A collecting habit grew into a thrilling obsession. When she pursued a master’s degree at NYU she discovered data’s immense potential to sway policy and opinion. Shipley’s policy fetish is making the Arts permanent across all levels of education. A pattern of artistic practice emerged – that of gathering, observing, analyzing, and reporting on the data as she sees it. Her conception and use of data continue to evolve.
Intrigued by the ways we perceive truth and use data to support our view of reality, I begin with raw data collected from our natural environment. These data are not numeric and there is no computer involved in my analysis. Instead, I use rudimentary elements from nature that provide me an endless resource for qualitative analysis. Each work is a dataset culled from my experience. Marks note my interpretation of the data; results reflect the unique truth, logic, and beauty that I see.
My process mirrors life and our inclination to make sense of it with data. Though seemingly common, our unique and individual experiences shape our perceptions of the world. What we see and how we see, are idiosyncratic. And thus, being fully conscious of our inherent biases can cultivate a more empathetic appreciation for our differences. While my biases certainly direct what viewers initially see in these works, my intention is for viewers to contemplate the data in their own way.