PAMELA J. WALLACE
Weeds grow in the cracks of concrete. Vines grow on buildings where siding boards warp and twist in the weather. Rusting industrial machinery sits in the sun next to crumbling concrete structures.
These spaces, where nature re-asserts itself into architectural structures – where coarse weeds and rust reveal the passage of time, are rich sources of imagery. These are the remnants of a society undergoing a sea change. My work is a response to this strange interval between a nearly forgotten culture founded on the manufacture of physical objects, and one based in the cerebral manipulation of information. My sculpture intersects the space between the things we make and the things we used to make, but can no longer identify. I look at the rich surfaces and forms of obsolete factories, farm buildings, and old houses in our cities and towns. I notice order and repetition in our architectural styles, and in the natural forms of weeds and plants. It often seems as though industrial processes mimic the order and efficiency of nature; both strive for an elegant economy of production.
In my studio parts are laid out like specimens in a natural history museum or trays of parts on an assembly line. As each part is placed in the context of a sculpture, vague geometries begin to emerge. As I work, layers of paper, wood, cloth, and metal change as they are subjected to heat, water, light, and abrasion. Sewn elements and forged steel make references to issues of work and gender. Working with a continuum of objects, I create systems and patterns that are often mapped out like constellations. My forms follow an invented non-linear geometry, where order comes and goes and the smallest detail is essential.