If it were possible to distill an artist’s work in a sentence, I would say that Phoebe Washburn creates sculptural instillations from found materials. This is completely inadequate however, none of the life present in the works is translated in that formal definition. This instillation, titled Heavy Has Debt, dates to 2003 and was located at the Faulconer Gallery of Grinnell College.

Small cardboard pieces, recycled from previous works, along with drywall screws and a lot of work by the artist and volunteers come together to create a 14 foot high, 95 foot long curved wall that is extremely elegant in its simplicity. In the artist’s words, ‘the process and completed object is so dumb – yet hopefully something amazing emerges from it’. I’d say ‘hope realized’.


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