Algae, bacteria, spores and other organic elements have long been overlooked by the art world. Sculptress Pamela Sunday has managed to change that. Though she came to acknowledge her artistic beckoning later in life, Sunday has uncovered a world of mesmerizing beauty in even the minutest forms of life. Her childhood fascination with the natural world led Sunday to the unique and dynamic sculptural technique we see today, informed by microscopic forms and endless permutations of spheres and hemispheres. She says of her subject, “The possibilities are endless and I can spend hours, days and even weeks on a single sculpture.”
Before her sculpting career, Sunday served as the Art Director at Bergdorf Goodman. She speaks of her experience there: “My work at Bergdorf Goodman was always a collaboration—design by committee. My sculptural work is my personal vision without any other cooks. My work is brewed slowly, and I work on variations of certain forms for years at a time. The fashion world works at a faster pace with a new season always around the corner.”
Sunday’s sculptural career bears absolutely no sense of the fast-paced industry she once knew. Demonstrating patience, stamina and meticulous attention to detail, Sunday achieves a comfortable, yet richly complex repetition of nubs and protrusions adorning each of her mesmerizing creations. Abiding solely by her own artistic compulsions, her creation process is comprised of repetitive components assembled sometimes with a clear, systematic plan, and other times with a definite beginning followed by improvisation by eye. “My process can be very meditative until it isn’t, and then for brief moments it becomes maddening. That is when I stop, wrap up the piece and move on to the next obsessive task!” Through a rigorous work ethic, Sunday’s bubbling, hived and even spiny textural stories are replicated with such momentum and rhythm, she often has to restrict her time on any single project as she’s found she can lose herself in creation. With such relentless fixation, it is little wonder that Sunday relates obsession as a defining feature of her work. Conversely, this attention to detail and craftsmanship is what Sunday prides herself on most.
Sunday’s work can be viewed at Studio Van den Akker in New York, as well as the Imago Galleries in Palm Desert, California and Thomas Riley in Naples, Florida. Nestled in New York’s Furniture District, patrons of Studio Van den Akker will find Sunday’s rare works contrasting and complementing the city’s iconic chaotic tones and metallic finishes. Her creations accompany Studio Van den Akker’s made-to-order fine furnishings like a fine, vintage port paired with a robust and earthy blue cheese. Punctuating her showcase is a single, circular mirror glazed in a chirping, cherry red that hangs as a centerpiece within the gallery—a gift Sunday gave to the showroom manager, Joseph Daleuski.
Far from the bustling world that surrounds her showcase, Sunday resides with her husband, photographer Paul Sunday, in Jersey City. There, Sunday spends her hours, days and weeks obsessing over each extraordinary manifestation of what other individuals might consider nothing more than natural oddities. Through Sunday’s efforts, obsession and diligence yield extraordinary results that have forever changed the way we see these miniscule organisms.