Pamela Ellis Hawkes

Pamela Ellis Hawkes’s innovative photography revitalizes antique traditions of still life painting with a playful contemporary spirit and a keen eye for seductively mysterious beauty.

Her work often exposes viewers’ differing expectations from photography and painting, and this surprising parallax illuminates of the changing meanings of artistic images in the visual cultures of the past and the rapidly changing present. One of the magic properties of photographs is that they seem to arrest the relentless transience of human experience. Hawkes work reminds us that artists have shared this aim for centuries, responding to an ageless call to preserve and honor the ephemeral, to fix fleeting shadows and transmute loss into beauty. With wit, deadpan humor, and reverence for all of art, Hawkes’s work questions the “persistent illusion” of reality within photographs and extends photography into unexpected dimensions of memory and imagination.

Hawkes worked with Polaroid film for nearly 20 years. In 2008, responding to changing photographic technologies and the increasing prevalence of conventional photographic images, she joined other important contemporary photographers in returning to historical photographic processes to refresh and develop their artistic visions, and she has gone on to explore hybrid mediums, sometimes marvelous in their technical complexity, reflecting the conceptual complexity by which value is attached to images in contemporary society.

Hawkes’s photographs are in significant public and private collections including the Addison Gallery of American Art (Andover MA), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Polaroid Collection, the Wiggin Prints and Drawings Collection of the Boston Public Library, and the Danforth Museum (Framingham MA). Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented at the Houston Center for Photography, Pepper Gallery (Boston), and other galleries in Texas and New England. Her work has been published in Rangefinder, Lenswork, Camera and Darkroom, and other publications.

Past Solo Exhibitions with Matthew Swift Gallery
Pamela Ellis Hawkes: Archives and Artifacts
July 2, 2016July 31, 2016
An exhibition of photographs by Pamela Ellis Hawkes which continue the artist’s provocative explorations of the changing meanings of images in past and present cultures.
Pale Shadows: Cameraless Images by Pamela Ellis Hawkes
March 21, 2014April 20, 2014
Trident Gallery’s first one-artist exhibition begins on the first day of spring, 2014, with the work of innovative Rockport photographer Pamela Ellis Hawkes in both modern and early photographic media.
Past Group Exhibitions with Matthew Swift Gallery
Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary 2023
March 23, 2023 · 5:00 pmMarch 26, 2023 · 6:00 pm
Matthew Swift Gallery will be exhibiting at the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary art fair in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Art Wynwood 2023
February 16, 2023 · 6:00 pmFebruary 19, 2023 · 6:00 pm
Matthew Swift Gallery will be exhibiting at the Art Wynwood 2023 art fair in Miami, Florida.
December 1, 2022January 16, 2023
An evolution from the previous Right Here on Paper, bringing in art showing trees and flowers or otherwise suggesting growth.
A Closer Look at Still Lifes
March 6, 2021June 21, 2021
A group exhibition exploring the diversity of the tradition of still lifes.
September 5, 2020October 4, 2020
An exhibition for a time of danger and transitions.
Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary 2020
January 9, 2020January 12, 2020
Matthew Swift Gallery will show work by gallery artists at Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary.
November 23, 2019February 29, 2020
An exhibition which invites you to take a closer look while approaching and beginning the year 2020.
New Series Two
October 10, 2019November 18, 2019
Signature works of art by gallery and guest artists, in harmonious groupings, but without an express theme.
New Series One
August 10, 2019October 7, 2019
The gallery introduces a new name, Matthew Swift Gallery, and a new exhibition format: a group exhibition of individual treasures.
In With The New
January 26, 2018March 25, 2018
An exhibition of new, unseen, and selected works of art by represented artists.
AD20/21 2017
April 6, 2017April 9, 2017
Trident Gallery showed works on paper by Pamela Ellis Hawkes, Zygmund Jankowski, Ruth Mordecai, Diane Ayott, and Susan Erony at the 2016 AD20/21 art fair.
A Time for Blue
January 20, 2017March 26, 2017
A themed exhibition of art selected by Director Matthew Swift.
In the Time We Have
March 12, 2016April 24, 2016
An exhibition of new and selected works of art reflecting themes of time, ephemerality, and maturity.
Beyond Real: Contemporary Landscapes
August 15, 2015September 13, 2015
A group exhibition offering more than fifty paintings, drawings, photographs, and mixed media works in the genre of landscape, chosen to represent a diversity of artistic approaches.
AD20/21 2015
March 26, 2015March 29, 2015
Trident Gallery showed works on paper by eight represented artists at the 2015 AD20/21 art fair.
Spring Improvisations
March 20, 2015May 31, 2015
During Spring Improvisations, special offerings and recent work by gallery artists will be on display and may change frequently and improvisationally. Stop into the gallery regularly to see new work and tell the Director what you’d like to see next.
Boston International Fine Art Show, 2014
November 13, 2014November 16, 2014
Trident Gallery showed works by gallery artists at the Boston International Fine Art Show in 2014.
Harbortown 2014
July 3, 2014July 27, 2014
An exhibition celebrating Gloucester Harbor and the area’s legacy of more than 150 years of excellence in the visual arts, displaying works of art by eighteen Cape Ann artists, including four guest artists, and introducing Gloucester artist Ed Touchette, now represented by Trident Gallery.
Walls of Plenty
November 29, 2013January 5, 2014
A cornucopia of art to feed the soul.
Home: The Inaugural Exhibition
August 30, 2013October 14, 2013
Trident Gallery's inaugural exhibition shows the work of twelve artists representing the excellence and variety of contemporary fine art on Cape Ann. Gallery Director Dr. Matthew Swift has assembled 39 works of art that explore ideas of “home.”