July 11

PAM LOFTS : MEMORIES

It was late 97 at the Institute  of Modern Art (IMA) in Brisbane : Michael Snelling, Anna Marsden and I were working on a show called Wild Kingdom. The exhibition featured a pack of camp dogs that Pam Lofts had made from abandoned clothes she collected on the Todd River bed. Each of the dogs had a distinctive character, its own gait and as a pack they were so alive. I remember how passers by would be stopped in their tracks by Pam’s dogs, they would come in and just stare at them – awestruck. The people who lived on the streets in Fortitude Valley had a particular affinity – they knew exactly where Pam was coming from. It was a tough work, about struggle, resilience and survival against the odds in a land that demands respect. One of those works through which you come to understand the country you live in; not a necessarily a pleasant picture but incorporating the good as well as the bad and ugly. We all loved Pam, she was an “IMA favourite” in the day and we looked forward to her visits like a favourite Aunty from Alice. She brought work like we had never seen from the desert to the dreadful old cockroach infested warehouse in Ann Street. But Pam had shown her work in more challenging places and she could hold her own at our feral openings which were hot, crowded and unruly. Pam lived in Alice Springs but it didn’t really matter where you were, Alice, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, the central desert – she was never too far away ….

David Broker

Thanks to Steve Fox for the memories and the video below

Pam Lofts, Helen Maxwell and Cathy Laudenbach at the opening of Oomph! CCAS 2007