Pamela Robertson-Pearce is an artist, filmmaker and translator. Her films include IMAGO: Meret Oppenheim (1996), on the artist who made the fur-lined teacup, and Gifted Beauty (2000), about Surrealist women artists including Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. IMAGO: Meret Oppenheim won several awards, including the Swiss Film Board’s Prize for Outstanding Quality and the Gold Apple Award at the National Educational Film and Video Festival in America. She has shown her work in solo exhibitions in New York and Provincetown, and in various group shows in the US and Europe. Born in Stockholm, she grew up in Sweden, Spain and England, then lived mostly in America - also working in Switzerland, Norway and Albania - before moving to Northumberland.
She co-edited the anthology Soul Food: nourishing poems for starved minds (Bloodaxe Books, 2007) with Neil Astley, and worked with him on the DVD-books In Person: 30 Poets (Bloodaxe Books, 2008) and In Person: World Poets (Bloodaxe Books, 2017), filming poets whose work is included in the two anthologies. Bloodaxe issued two more of her poetry films on DVDs with books in 2009, John Agard Live! with John Agard's Alternative Anthem: Selected Poems and Life is IMMENSE: visiting Samuel Menashe with Samuel Menashe's New & Selected Poems, followed by Jean 'Binta' Breeze's Third World Girl: Selected Poems with a live performances and interview DVD in 2011. Her full-length feature film Benjamin Zephaniah: To Do Wid Me was released on DVD by Bloodaxe in 2013 in Benjamin Zephaniah's DVD-book To Do Wid Me. She also devised the creative course Sky in the Eye ('Developing Creativity Using Women Surrealists' Art as a Palette') with poet Pascale Petit, run for the first time at Ty Newydd Writers' Centre, Wales, in 2013 and 2016, and followed by another course, Out of the Shell: writing and making art, run with poet and artist Annie Freud at Ty Newydd in 2017.
She has translated the work of several Swedish poets, including Ann Jäderlund, Magnus-William Olsson, Katarina Frostenson and Eva-Stina Byggmästar. She was commissioned to translate a selection of Jäderlund's poems by Poetry International Rotterdam for her reading there in June 2014 (see this link), and is now working with Erik Jonsson on an anthology of modern and contemporary Swedish poetry in English translation.
IMAGO: Meret Oppenheim
IMAGO: Meret Oppenheim (1996) is a 90-minute art film by Pamela Robertson-Pearce (director) and Anselm Spoerri (producer). The narration by Glenda Jackson is based on texts, letters, dreams and poems by Meret Oppenheim. It has been shown in cinemas in Europe and America, and won several awards, including the Swiss Film Board's Outstanding Quality Prize, Oakland's Golden Apple Award and Mulhouse's Grand Prix.
The fame of the Swiss artist Meret Oppenheim (1913-85) rests on one piece, "The Fur-lined Teacup", one of the archetypal Surrealist works. By creating it in 1936 at the age of 23, she leapt into the art-history books - but a year later she had retreated from Paris to Basle to study art in order to live up to her worldwide reputation, and plunged into a depression that lasted 17 years. "Nobody gives you freedom, you have to take it," she remarked, and eventually she was able to emerge from the shadow of that teacup and become a mature artist, her links with Dada and Surrealism still alive. Based on Meret Oppenheim's own words, this film is an inspiring tribute to a woman who transformed herself after a long crisis. This short extract from IMAGO covers Meret Oppenheim's Paris years.
Pamela Robertson-Pearce first met Meret Oppenheim as a child when the artist visited Stockholm for a major exhibition of her work in 1967. After graduating from St Martin's College of Art in London, she approached her about making a film based on her life and work, and had started working together on this when Meret Oppenheim died, in 1985. After a period of reassessment, Pamela Robertson-Pearce decided to continue the project, filming in the places where Meret Oppenheim had lived, and drawing on her writings. The film which emerged, IMAGO, took eight years to make.
IMAGO can be bought or hired from the Roland Collection (versions also available in French, German and Spanish). Pamela Robertson-Pearce (email@example.com) is also available for showings of her film at festivals, exhibitions, art colleges and universities.
Books by Pamela Robertson-Pearce