Imogene Drummond’s work is about the transformation of pain. In her painting, collage, poetry and performance, she metamorphoses pain into a joyful embrace, a jubilant freedom dance, a song of survival and celebration. Chorus-like, her polyphonic work whispers, sings and shouts of triumph over wounds and demons.
Drummond’s language is one of archetypes. The triumph of metamorphosing abuse, grief and bondage into empowerment and freedom is affirmed in her art. Archetypes in her work are reinforced through symbols: ancient sacred signs whose meanings—although frequently veiled, lost or subverted culturally—continue to be powerful and relevant today. Emblematic snakes, eggs, moons, spirals, waves, thunder bolts, wings, triangles, eyes hands, flames, shells, arches and mounds are woven into her art like words in a story. The amphora, ancient container of oil and wine, represent the female archetype: a cipher of life and life-giving forces. Drummond honors and celebrates the strength, diversity and cunning of inner life forces to survive; they overcome adversity. They grow.
Just as Drummond’s content is about the transmutation of pain, so is the medium in which she expresses it. Her use of cut-up, recycled graphics and traditional symbols used in new ways and contexts bespeak of her originality and creativity. Graphics from American, Greek and French magazines, cigarette and candy wrappers, and paper block-printed in India are destroyed, resurrected and recycled in new forms in Drummond’s collages. The amphora shape is re-expressed in a form that wittily refers to au courant high-fashion and a modern icon: Marilyn Monroe. Symbols are formed from cut-up advertisements and type-set paper products to create complex yet simple collages: a medium that reflects a post-industrial culture whose products—especially paper and printed paper—are so readily available that they frequently devolve into trash. In rescuing our trash and transmuting it into art, Drummond changes our wounds and demons into gifts for us. Provocative expressions of the metamorphosis of pain: her collages, shaman-like, are symbolic acts of transformation for us, individually and collectively.
Drummond’s work spans time and culture. She reveals a passionate connectedness to pre-history, nature and inner human knowledge. These are images of the past and for the future. Writer, editor and publisher Brian Drolet describes her work as “futuretropic.” Truly, Drummond’s future-images lean toward the light.
Founder and Director
International Center for
Peace and the Arts
Hawaii and New York