PAM BOWMAN / Entwined
September 25, 2015 - January 29, 2016
Entwined is a grouping of art works that all use rope-like or string-like materials. Rope and string are used as metaphors for accomplishment, increased strength, and the coming together and combining of things or people. There is an emphasis on relationships and shared journey as we experience life.
Header image: Collective III (detail), Pam Bowman
Throughout time people have used string or string-like materials to accomplish many tasks. Fiber has been used since ancient times for making objects that are useful for daily living. Traditional fiber techniques such as sewing, weaving, basketry, braiding, and rope-making use fibrous materials that have been made into thread, cordage or yarn. The gathering of the materials was careful and labor intensive, and the building techniques repetitive. Hands performed the same movements over and over, developing skill and rhythm. Few people today weave their own fabric or make their own ropes, but we still use string as a tool to help us accomplish many different tasks.
From the Collection of. . . directly addresses the idea of using string or string-like materials to help us accomplish things. I sent letters to people with an “I can do” attitude towards life. I asked each of them to send me some sort of “string” that relates to their life.
Inclusion is a series of small rope structures that begins with colors that are completely separated, and moves toward colors that are completely integrated.
Webwork combines elements of rope making, weaving and braiding – all traditional fiber techniques. There is a joining of strands as well as a joining of processes to form a web or net.
Collective III is the joining and combining of 35 miles of caulking cotton (a material used in building wooden boats). “The intertwined strings represent the intersections of people, the combined whole ultimately stronger than the individual. But the work has more to offer than the seemingly simple analogy, as the ropes do not idly line up but violently pull, cover, tug, and jockey for position in a complex shared journey.” * Whether it is a collective such as a family, neighborhood or society, or the effort of an individual over time, there is complexity in the making, in the joining, and in the result.
Curator of Contemporary Art
Brigham Young University Museum of Art
About the Artist
Pam Bowman was born in Salt Lake City in 1953 and grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has also lived in Utah, Florida, Colorado, Ohio and Jiangsu Province, China. She received a BA in Interior Design in 1977 and a Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in sculpture and installation from Brigham Young University in 2005.
Bowman creates sculptures and installations to express the value of the human experience. The learning and progression that are possible within one’s lifetime is a recurring theme. She is particularly interested in the results of work and repetitive tasks within the structures of family and community. She believes that the accumulation of small works repeated over time is consequential. These concepts are reinforced through the use of repetitive and labor-intensive processes, and by referencing traditional fiber arts. Bowman finds thread, string, and rope to be particularly meaningful as a symbol of a tool helpful to perform work, and as a signifier for accomplishment.
Pam Bowman has exhibited her work extensively throughout Utah, and in California, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Nanjing, China. She married Jerry Bowman in 1977 and together they raised three sons. They currently reside in Provo, Utah.