Beneath the Forest, Beneath the Sea by Pamela Moulton (2022)

Materials: Abandoned fishing gear, steel, rope

Beneath the Forest, Beneath the Sea detail

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About the project

Beneath the Forest, Beneath the Sea consists of three larger-than-life free-standing whimsical sculptures that the artist describes as “an underwater arboretum crossed with outer space creatures” created from over 10-tons of “ghost gear” – trawling nets, ropes, buoys, lobster traps, and other fishing debris – salvaged from the Gulf of Maine. Driven by the artist’s community and collaborative based practice, it is public art created for and by the public, with over 5,600 students and collaborators detangling, weaving, painting, andassembling the sculptures while discussingart making and the stories behind the materials. Moulton stated: “These are sensory sculptures and I hope people will touch, crawl, and picnic under them, and marvel that these materials were just recently lost and haunting the bottom of the ocean. I’m happy that many will enjoy the art simply for its beauty and whimsy, and I hope it will additionally inspire some to contemplate, discuss, and get actively involved in the deeper underlying environmental issues.”

The project is continually activated by a series of free performances and events throughout the summer of 2022 – 2023.

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Drone footage by Tim Ouillette of Beneath the Forest, Beneath the Sea by Pamela Moulton
About Beneath the Forest, Beneath the Sea

This piece was made in collaboration with over 5,600 individuals. Thank you to:

Casco Bay High School, The Cedars, Center for Coastal Studies Marine Debris and Plastics Program, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, DSO Creative Fabrication, The Ecology School, Evo Rock + Fitness, Flatbread Company, Gerald E. Talbot Community School, Girl Scouts of America, Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation, King Middle School, Maine College of Art and Design, Mayo Enterprises LLC, The New School Kennebunk, Presumpscot Elementary School. Ocean Avenue Elementary School, Oceanside High School, Sherwin Williams, Spindleworks, Standard Baking Company, Sterling Rope Company, Tom Moulton, Transformit, and many generous individual volunteers. Special thanks to Pamela’s team of artist collaborators.

About Pamela Moulton

Pamela Moulton’s installations are large-scale, playful, hands-on, exploratory and mysterious…Moulton is a multi-disciplinary artist, whose newest human-scale immersive environments are built entirely from salvaged commercial nets and ropes. Her interactive spaces may be crawled through, climbed upon and occupied, allowing the public to explore its environmental consciousness in a direct, material way. These lost materials – haunt our oceans. They are durable, outdoor materials designed for human handling, connected historically and commercially to Portland’s development. Moulton uses them to pull her visitors into spaces which are evocative, sensory, and contemplative. World-building and collaboration are the bases of Moulton’s practice.


This project is located in Payson Park, Portland, Maine. Parking is available in the adjacent lot.