Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, ‘When I see her’, Museum of African Design (MOAD)

Artist's Statement
My art practice is based in drawing and includes experimental animation, sound installations and performance. In my most recent work, I am exploring theories in modern quantum physics (about time, space and the universe), as well as popular tropes in science-fiction literature (time-space travel, parallel dimensions, teleportation) to discover ways of re-seeing everyday experiences as mythological or fantastical experiences. I am interested in finding parallels between traditions in Afro-mythology and musings in Afro-futurism to create works that conjure a playful or symbolic narrative scope to everyday life.

Image rights: Photographer: Louis Grobler Artwork copyright holder: Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum was born in Mochudi, Botswana. She received a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) from the Mt Royal School of Interdisciplinary Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, USA. From 2005 until 2011 she was a lecturer at MICA and taught courses in drawing, multi-media practices, and critical theory to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. As an artist, Sunstrum's practice includes drawing, drawing installations, experimental animation, sound installation and performance. She has exhibited her work at MoCADA (NYC), The Kitchen (NYC), Pulse Art Fair (Miami), the Hudson Valley Center for Creative Arts, the Spelman College Art Museum, and the Houston Center for Contemporary Arts in Texas. An installation of her animations was exhibited at the 2012 Havana Biennial. Most recently her work was featured in the exhibition 'Made in Africa' co-curated by Nontobeko Ntombela as part of the Africa Day celebrations at Sandton Art Space. Sunstrum currently lives and works in Johannesburg.

About Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum

Driven by a fascination with ancient mythologies and scientific theories, Sunstrum muses on the origins of time, geological concepts, and ideas about the universe. Her works on paper, large-scale installations, and stop-motion films are rooted in autobiography, addressing the development of transnational identities, human connections, and cross-border rituals. Having lived in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the United States, Sunstrum developed an alter-ego, Asme, to convey her unfixed, evolving selfhood. The image of Asme is often superimposed with overlapping gestures as a means of suggesting compounded time, illustrating her universal, atemporal existence. Sunstrum’s landscapes also expand on themes of timelessness; she reconstructs sites both real and imagined to reveal the small scale of individuals within the vast universe, a concept that is reminiscent of 18th-century notions of the sublime.

Botswanian, b. 1980, Mochudi, Botswana, based in Johannesburg, South Africa

Solo Shows

Mythopoeia | Mequitta Ahuja, Kapwani Kiwanga, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum and Alida Rodrigues