Noelle Pember

This project is built around our connection to emotion through the natural world- an examination of how specific emotional experiences can be reflected through animal imagery.

There is an clear connection between our reaction towards the grotesque and those deep, dark, emotional parts of ourselves that often stay hidden.

I set out with the desire to have these paintings mean lots of different things to lots of different people, and didn’t plan to attach titles as a means to push towards personal interpretation. However, over the course of the project it became evident that each one is representing a very specific, deep feeling that I felt should be spoken aloud alongside these pieces.


Acrylic on wood panel, 16×20

n. the desire to care less about things—to loosen your grip on your life, to stop glancing behind you every few steps, afraid that someone will snatch it from you before you reach the end zone.

This piece was created as an ironic response to the definition- the raven depicted like a nest for an egg doomed to break. Evidence of previous attempts scattered on the ground around its body show how little difference any change to your approach makes when marked by fate. The florals, cornflower and honeysuckle, are signs of devoted affection, longevity, and the fullness of life’s cycle.


Acrylic on wood panel, 16×20

n. a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—which leads to a dawning awareness of the haunting fragility of life, a mood whose only known cure is the vuvuzela.

As my appointed “center piece” for this project, I veered towards the grotesque and body horror to elicit a different, less fantastical response from the other two pieces. Feelings of anxiety and fear can be felt like a constant flutter, while the shedding snake leaves pieces of itself in its wake, traversing an unknown landscape.


Acrylic on wood panel, 16×20

n. A fixed and strong desire.

As the final piece in this set, I wanted to return the observer to a feeling of melancholy- providing a view of innocence and purity that can only come with mortality. The letters strewn about the fawn don’t mean anything at all… Or do they? Are they letters of want? Fear? Uncertainty? The feeling is bottled up and released upon the finality of death. Amaranth flowers reflect on unfading feelings and immortality.

Noelle Pember

Noelle Pember was born on the East Coast and began her art education in the Prairies before receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Now a West Coast-based illustrator and tattoo artist, she employs a wide range of mediums, from digital concepts to colored pencil sketches to acrylic painting. She builds around saturated color, bold lines, and a semi-realistic style to portray fantastical subjects; including themes from the natural world such as animal and plant life, with witchcraft and mythology sprinkled throughout. She has a keen interest in utilizing daydreams and mysteries (that often teeter on the edge of unsettling) to propel her creative process. Angel food cake is her kryptonite.
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