Artist Statement 2016
I endeavor to express the value of the human experience through installations that incorporate natural materials and traditional, labor-intensive processes. I am particularly interested in exploring how our repetitive tasks and efforts compound, interact, and contribute to a greater sense of purpose.
Materiality is the foundation for my installations. Natural materials and fibers relate to the earth, the lives of men and women throughout time, and to the work they need to accomplish. String, cordage, and rope are particularly meaningful as symbols of tools helpful to perform work and as signifiers of accomplishment.
The repetitive and labor-intensive processes I use to manipulate my materials reflect the tasks of living and the steady, continual efforts of life. Many of these processes relate to traditional fiber techniques such as weaving, braiding, and quilting. These techniques are reminiscent of ancient repetitive work necessary for home and life. Their historical association with work and meticulous constructive processes provide a powerful metaphor for the human experience.
Through small, sustained effort over time, routines and relationships contribute to the learning and progress of an individual. The rhythms, routines, and rituals of life intrigue me. Daily routines and interpersonal relationships are repetitive. They are interlinking tasks we perform that create patterns and bonds in our lives. Over time, these small efforts join, connect, and converge creating a whole that is ultimately stronger than the individual—much like the accumulation of fibers in a rope. However, with that strength comes tension. Experiences, like fibers, do not idly line up but pull, cover, tug, and jockey for position in a complex, shared journey.
Through natural, relatable materials, and laborious, repetitive processes, my installations give voice to the mundane and ordinary. They reveal with magnitude and grace the extraordinary results of simply living.
Pam Bowman was born in Salt Lake City in 1953 and grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has also lived in 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.
Pam Bowman has exhibited her work extensively throughout Utah, and in California, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Nanjing, China. She was named a Utah Arts Council Fellow in 2016. She married Jerry Bowman in 1977 and together they raised three sons. They currently reside in Provo, Utah.