Molly Lamb

We are very excited to kick off 2018 with a feature of Molly Lamb. A fine art photographer and scholar, Molly's works have been seen in galleries and Museums in New England and around the nation including Rick Wester Fine Art, the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Danforth Art Museum as well as the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Her work has been showcased in publications such as Photograph, Musée Magazine, Oxford American and Harper’s Magazine to name a few. Additionally, Molly was selected for the Critical Mass Top 50 as well as LensCulture’s 50 Emerging Talents.

(Please click on the images above to view them in a slideshow menu)

Take Care of Your Sister

Aspect Initiative opens 2018 with the work of Molly Lamb, an artist whose personal approach to her work warrants careful contemplation.  These are not just photographs, but pages from a longer familial narrative.  The reverential quality of Molly’s work requires a quiet mind and full concentration.  The ten works on view, part of the series Take Care of Your Sister, are beautiful, lyrical, and create formal relationships that are essential in reading the works.  This is seen in the placement of each object, the use of light and reflection, capturing and holding elements of the landscape, the poetry that accompanies each series, and the way in which the works are installed—all are intentional and highly personal.

Take Care of Your Sister is the third chapter in a narrative that began with the series Ghost Stepping and continued with Let It Go.  As the titles imply, there is an otherworldly presence that hovers over the works—as you navigate the images, words, and objects, you have a palpable sense of invading someone else’s secrets.  In artist statements that accompany each chapter, we are offered the knowledge that over the years, the artist has inherited the belongings of most of her family, and those objects and memories have helped her preserve a family history on the verge of being lost.  A profound sense of loss permeates the work, made even more explicit in the most recent chapter, when the artist notes that she alone is the voice for this history and when she is gone, the objects will be silenced.

But, visually, that silence is impossible.  These are works on the verge of ignition—a figure in mid-air, a bee suspended in liquid, sparks of red light glowing from an unseen source.  The translucent yet permeable space between interior and exterior in Molly’s work adds to the narrative that each of these series weaves.  Explorations of in-between spaces, reflections, layering, and suspended objects—all give voice to the landscape of Molly’s family history, and each photograph more fully merges the artist and her work.

- Jessica Roscio, Curator, Danforth Art


Molly Lamb

Visit: Molly Lamb

Bio

Molly Lamb holds an MFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a BA in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her work has been exhibited nationally, most recently at Rick Wester Fine Art, the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Danforth Art Museum, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Photographic Resource Center. In 2016, she was selected for the Critical Mass Top 50 and in 2015, she was named one of Photo District News’ 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch as well as one of LensCulture’s 50 Emerging Talents. Her work has been featured in Photograph, Musée Magazine, Oxford American, Harper’s Magazine, Aint-Bad Magazine, Photo District News, and the Boston Globe, among others. She is represented by Rick Wester Fine Art, New York.

Statement

Take Care of Your Sister

My first recollection of inheriting the belongings of someone in my family is when I was five years old. Consistently, throughout the years since, I have inherited the belongings of most of my family. This history permeates my experiences and perspectives, and it also now ends with my life. When I pass away, all that I hold dear - my stories, my belongings, and those of my family - will dissolve into a world that does not speak the language of our nuances.

Take Care of Your Sister is a meditation on the emotional resonance of loss, family history, and family future through the land – a landscape that is grounded in reality yet also distorted through time and displacement. It is the third chapter in a longer, ongoing narrative and was inspired by visiting the Mississippi Delta where my father grew up and where my brother and I spent time with our grandparents when we were very young. When my father was a child there, he was asked to take care of his younger sister. When I was a child, the last words my father said to my brother were, “Take care of your sister.”

Without a family home to return to, the landscape becomes the place that harbors history and memory. The land engulfs and it provides respite. It haunts nightmares and it eases them away. I now live far away from the landscapes that make sense to me and give substance to my past, but I look for them here anyway. And I always return to them.


Moths circling and circling
uneasy yellow light
suspended
in speckled black
below the stars
and cicada silence.
Strong wind on the bridge –
dirt in the air, in my hair,
in the shades of darkness
where the light laps against
the water’s whirling
solid,
where they caught
moths
when they were young.
That is not cotton.
He is not him.
Fields
rows
divides
dirt
cracks
where there is no rain.
Thick summer
clings to my skin
quietly urging
its way into my bones.
Ghosts in my eye
under the shroud cry
leave me here no more.


Molly Lamb