Pam Foley CV


Personal Statement

Abstraction from the human figure is the consistent theme in my work. I sculpt to evoke certain emotions, feelings, or experiences. In my studio I work primarily in clay or plaster, as well as in other materials such as paint and textiles. Recurring recent themes include solitude and sorrow. I start by building an armature and work the material onto it to produce a lone figure that closely represents the idea or emotion. The piece is then enclosed in a rubber mould and cast using another material.

My art practice was greatly inspired by my 1979 visit to Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party. This exhibition gave me permission to combine training from my mother in ‘women’s work’ like sewing and knitting, with more physical tasks associated with traditional sculpture. Dance and gymnastics classes, as well as anatomy lessons, provided me with the foundation from which to observe and understand balance, poise, line and the energy of the human body.

My ongoing project, Routes of Sorrow, is an interdisciplinary project which brings together many past influences and skills to bear with a specific purpose – to introduce targeted audiences to Sorrow in its myriad of expressions. Many components of the project are designed specifically to be a resource.

My use of different art forms to examine and provoke meaningful dialogue on difficult subjects began with my 1997 San Francisco curated exhibition Hands and Heart, the Art of Healing. It resumed in 2011 with Phases 1 and 2 of Routes of Sorrow, and with Phase 3 to take place at Ark-T, Oxford. Sept-Oct 2019.




Current Projects

  • Multi media project Routes of Sorrow (sculpture, paintings, dried flowers) ongoing. Click here for more details
  • Produce and sell limited edition sculpture
  • Tutor, Life Sculpture courses
  • Workshop Facilitator:  Modeling the Head in Clay, Pit-firing, Mould-making and Casting


Selected Exhibitions throughout the UK, 2000 to present (click here for more details)

One person (sculpture only)

  • Routes of Sorrow: NN Contemporary, Northampton UK 2015; St Andrews Healthcare, Northampton & Birmingham UK 2014; Inter-Action, Milton Keynes UK 2013, Ark-T Oxford, coming 2019
  • Pam Foley at The Open University. Milton Keynes view talk here
  • Sculptures at The Glastonbury Festival. One resides permanently in The Green Fields
  • Hard Edges, Soft Lines:  4 Views of Abstraction. Michael Hesseltine Gallery, Banbury
  • Pam Foley Sculpture. Turrill Sculpture Garden, Oxford
  • From the Inside Out. Sulgrave Manor, Oxon
  • The Evolving Garden. Oxford
  • Weathering Change:  Investigating Geology, Form and Texture. OVADA Gallery, Oxford
  • Life Sketches, bas-reliefs. Art in the Bar, Phoenix Picturehouse, Oxford
  • Dimensions in Vision: Discoveries in Colour & Form. The Castle, Wellingborough

Group exhibitions 

  • Society of Women Artists
  • Elemental Sculpture Park
  • Marks Hall Sculpture exhibition
  • Espacio Gallery, London
  • Banbury Museum Ironstone Art Prize 2016 (shortlisted) and 2018
  • Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, London
  • Persora Gallery, Pershore, Worcs
  • The Moreton Gallery, Moreton in Marsh
  • Showborough House Sculpture in the Garden, Tweksbury
  • Art in Ardington, Oxfordshire
  • The Open University campus sculpture trail, Milton Keynes (ongoing)
  • Donnington Hall Grounds and Gardens, Lincoln
  • Art in Woodstock
  • Sculpture in the Sanctuary, Normanton, Southwell, Notts
  • Claydon House, Winslow, Buckinghamshire
  • North Wall Gallery, Oxford
  • Art, Design and A Taste of Summer, Blenheim Palace
  • Alfred East Gallery, Kettering
  • The Castle, Wellingborough
  • on form 06 Biennial, Asthall Manor, Oxon


Commissions, Awards and Residencies

2019                  Arts Council England and Oxford Culture Fund grants to further project Routes of Sorrow in partnership with Ark-T, Oxford

2016                  Creative Arts and Dementia project FLOURISH. Click here for more information

2015                  Arts Council England award for Routes of Sorrow project and exhibition

2014 & 2015    Kicking The Bucket festival, Oct-Nov Oxford

2011                  Creative Northants Bursary

2011                  Westhill Endowment grant for project Routes of Sorrow:  grieving without finality. Read more…

2010                 Gold Star Award – Massachusetts Cultural Council (USA)

2009                 Massachusetts Cultural Council (USA) – Worked with elderly. Gold Star Award, March 2010. Read more…

2008                 Oxford Inspires – Worked with local residents, incorporated their work into a countywide initiative of artist window installations. Read more…

2006                 Cherwell District Council – Public Commission for Banbury, two bas-relief designs for 46 permanent cast iron planter boxes. (Installation June 2007). Read more…

2006                 Arts Council England – grant to further sculpture practice and exhibit From The Inside Out, a year long site specific installation at Sulgrave Manor. Read more…

2006                 East Midlands Arts Mentoring Award

2004-2006     Collaborative project to make publicly accessible sculptures in a garden setting, entitled The Evolving Garden – sculptures and their botanical companions. The Galaxie Hotel Garden, Oxford. Read more…

2004                 OVADA (Oxfordshire Visual Arts Development Agency) residency to explore sculptural ideas. Read more…

2001-2005     School residencies. Read more…

1989                  Frank Rowe Scholarship Award, Laney College, Oakland, CA

1988                 Civic Arts Association Scholarship Award, Walnut Creek, CA


Education, Training, Employment History, and Professional Art Experience (selected)

2016                     PostGrad Diploma Women’s Studies: Ruskin College (validated by The Open University)

2011 – present    Oxford Sculptors Group member

2008 – 2018       Northants Adult Learning, Life Sculpture course tutor

2007 – present   Sunningwell School of Art,  Life Sculpture and Children’s Ceramics tutor

2009                    City & Guild Teacher Training, PTTLS

2008 – 2011        Oxford Art Society Steering Committee

2007                    Bronze Casting course, with Richard Trupp, Kingston University

2007                    Plaster Workshop with sculptor Manuel Neri, Novato, CA

Mid 2006-2008: break from sculpture studio practice. Occasional exhibitions

2004/2005        Drawing/bas relief with Marcus Cornish, Prince’s Drawing School, London

2001–2005        Kids@Art consultant/administrator, grant writer – art in Oxfordshire schools

2003-2004        Oxfordshire Educational Trust for the Development of the Arts – grant writer

2001                    Brazier College national student activist training weekend – Outdoor Sculpture Workshop Leader

2000 – 2001      Artweeks Open Studios – Area Co-ordinator

2000                   ArtsWise London-based arts education group – Workshop Leader

2000                   Sculpture and Anatomy with Tom Lomax, Slade School of Fine Art

1995-1999         San Francisco Women Artists 300 members non-profit art organisation with gallery, Vice President then President and CAO

1990-2000        Ceramics cooperatives (USA & France), raised family, taught art in schools, art administration

1990                   Associate Fine Arts Degrees (USA):  Laney College, Oakland, CA  Art/Ceramics, and Art Humanities

1986                   Woodworking and Ceramics, California College of the Arts

1985/1986        Ceramics, Central Connecticut State University

1981                   BSc Hons (USA):  Northeastern University Boston, MA – Criminal Justice


Press Coverage

International Sculpture Center, ongoing listing

Daily Info Interview 22 october 2014

Tessacase-Excursions 5: May 2014 Art in Ardington

Four Shires Magazine

Taunton (Masschusetts USA) Daily Gazette

a-n Magazine:  Nov 2006, p. 9 (Reviews)

Limited Edition Magazine, Oxfordshire

Oxford Mail (click here for latest article) and here

Banbury Guardian

BBC Radio Oxford (click here for Jan 2014 interview with Kat Orman)

SixTV, Oxford

The Walls of Jericho video produced and developed by JAG (Jericho Art Group)

Contact Point Magazine, San Francisco, CA USA

KQED TV during International Women’s Month USA

Everybody’s Angel, cable show in San Francisco, CA USA