Documenting Border Barriers

Pamela Dodds, detail, 'India-Bangladesh Border Barrier', 2021, drypoint and relief print, 11” x 19”.

Pamela Dodds, 'Documenting Border Barriers' 2022.

Pamela Dodds, 'Uzbekistan-Afghanistan Border Barrier', 2021, drypoint and relief print, 11” x 19”.

Pamela Dodds,'India-Bangladesh Border Barrier' (detail), 2021, drypoint and relief print, 11” x 19”.

Project Space
Documenting Border Barriers
Pamela Dodds
March 4, 2022 – April 16, 2022

Documenting Border Barriers is an exhibition by Pamela Dodds that addresses the exponential rise in the building of fortified fences and walls between nations and territories to control and prevent the movement of people. The installation in Open Studio’s Project Space presents the initial prints in her continuing, comprehensive study in drypoint and relief printmaking of border barriers in the world today.

As the number of people on the move has risen in recent years, so has the building of physical barriers. People fleeing war and crisis are increasingly met with fences, walls and violence at European borders, on the USA-Mexico border, and at numerous borders worldwide.

Through figure-based imagery, Dodds’s practice in painting and relief printmaking explores the challenges and barriers within human relationships. These nuanced portrayals of personal vulnerability are inspired by her feminist, political perspectives. In Documenting Border Barriers she turns her lens from the intimate to the global. Using the drypoint printmaking technique, where the image is scratched into the matrix then printed, her visceral portraits of barbed wire and concrete fences and walls present a sobering study of this aggressive response to human suffering and need.

Pamela Dodds’s work is exhibited regularly in solo and group exhibitions in Canada and the USA, and recently in Spain, Norway and the UK. Recent solo exhibitions include Undertow at Centre 3, Hamilton (virtual) and Something I Want to Tell You in Cleveland, Ohio. Reviews have appeared in Art New England, Boston Globe, Cleveland Scene, Collective Arts Journal, and Globe and Mail. She has been an invited speaker at OCADU University, University of Ottawa, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She has been awarded residencies and fellowships in Canada, USA and Europe, and has received grants from Ontario Arts Council, Gottlieb Foundation, Barbara Deming Fund for feminist art, and Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her work has been purchased for collections such as Capital One Bank, Ontario, Boston Public Library, MA, Purdue University, IL and Cleveland Museum of Art, OH. She lives and works in Toronto.

Pamela Dodds thanks her research assistant, Temple Marucci-Campbell.

Produced with the support of the Ontario Arts Council.