Pam Bowman



On Display

March 1, 2005 – March 31, 2005


Auditorium Gallery, level 1

MFA Final Installation Project


(ceaseless, endless, perpetual, cyclical, repetitive, recurrent, periodic)


(lasting, enduring, persistent, steadfast, evergreen, permanent, long-lasting)


(continual, steady, regular, unbroken)

My hands are cold and clumsy as I pull the white balls of seeds from the vine. “I should do this later in the day when it is warmer.” But I have the time right now. The seeds feel cold and slightly damp from frost. “I should do this later, after the sun has dried them out.” I keep picking, having developed a rhythm. But it is not the rhythm of Gershwin or African drums. It is not the rhythm of machinery. It is the natural rhythm of weeding a garden, weaving a basket, sharpening a knife or chopping wood. It is the cadence of countless quiet conversations in a large room. I continue plucking at this pace. My son says he has noticed that seeds up high are of better quality. I acknowledge his observation for I have discovered the same thing. “Is it necessary that we gather high quality seeds so I can hide them inside stuffed pillows?” No, it is not necessary.  I continue to reach high for the “better” puffs of seed. I am compelled to do so.

Through my compulsions for gathering, processing and building I have created this installation. I have included poetry as text to give context. This exhibit holds a place that is in between that of single objects and what Robert Morris referred to as “mutable stuff.”1

More significant than any object in the gallery is the collective meaning that is imparted because of the whole.

1 “What art now has in its hands is mutable stuff which need not arrive at the point of being finalized with respect to either time or space … work as an irreversible process ending in a static icon-object no longer has relevance.” Robert Morris, “Notes on sculpture 4: Beyond Objects,” Artforum (April 1969): 50-4.