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

Materials: Abandoned fishing gear, steel, rope

Photo by Bonnie Durham

Beneath the Forest, Beneath the Sea comprises three fanciful immersive sculptures with armatures fashioned out of metal, sheathed in organically shaped accumulations of what is referred to in the fishing industry as “ghost gear,” or abandoned net, rope, and buoys.

These voluptuous creatures, unique in shape and species, will expand the public’s imagination, enrich the biodiversity of the Longfellow Arboretum and build community by offering audience members a shared gathering spot, focal point and narrative to unpack. Each sculpture invites children to walk inside, physically experience and explore, and gives adults permission to play. The architecture beckons visitors beneath each structure to embark on a multi-sensorial journey through the understory of each sculpture, which a fantasyland of dangling, net-shaped, fragrant sculptures inhabit. Hidden objects reveal secrets and other elements, music! Each versatile structure will harbor a space for reflection, a place to share stories, or just be in the moment.

Pamela Moulton’s large-scale environments are ambitious and labor intensive and she approaches artmaking through the collaborative adventure of engaging her community. Having local schools and organizations collaborate in the artmaking process creates joint ownership of the sculptures and place. Beneath the Forest, Beneath the Sea becomes part of people’s everyday lives – fostering an appreciation for art.

An environmental artist, Moulton builds human scale art installations that physically engage the public, sparking conversations about environmental problems our planet faces. Her collaborative art making process will engage scores of locals, providing a platform for opening discussions. The entire structure is covered, inside and out, with bulbous organic net, rope and buoy forms that will transform each structure into a whimsical sculptural Adventureland. Pamela Moulton’s large-scale environments are ambitious and labor intensive and she approaches art-making through the collaborative adventure of engaging her community.

Community Collaboration

Having local schools and organizations collaborate in the artmaking process creates joint ownership of the sculptures and place. Beneath the Forest, Beneath the Sea becomes part of people’s everyday lives – fostering an appreciation for art.

Community partners, collaborators, and material sponsors include:

Casco Bay High School – Portland, ME
Cedars Retirement Community – Portland, ME
Center for Coastal Studies Marine Debris and Plastics Program – Provincetown, MA
Center for Maine Contemporary Art – Rockland, ME
Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine – Portland, ME
DSO Creative Fabrication – Saco, ME
The Ecology School – Saco, ME
Evo Rock + Fitness – Portland, ME
Flatbread Company – Portland, ME
Gerald E. Talbot Community School, third grade class – Portland, ME
Girl Scouts of America – Saco, ME
Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation – Kennebunk, ME
King Middle School – Portland, ME
Maine College of Art and Design – Portland, ME
The New School – Kennebunk, ME
Presumpscot Elementary School – Portland, ME
Ocean Avenue Elementary School – Portland, ME
Sherwin Williams – South Portland, ME
Spindleworks – Brunswick, ME
Standard Baking Company – Portland, ME
Sterling Rope Company – Biddeford, ME
Tito Masonry & Construction – Portland, ME
Tom Moulton – Portland, ME
Transformit – Gorham, ME

The Process

Take a look behind the scenes. All photos by Bonnie Durham.

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.

Stay tuned for summer programming + events!

Active public participation is crucial to our process and to TEMPOart’s vision. Our programming plans for this year included hosting music, dance and storytelling events at the site curated by artist Pamela Moulton.