Frances Lambe: Microcosmos (New Work) 2 July – 15 Aug 2009
The Millennium Court Arts Centre is pleased to present a body of stunning new work by Dundalk based ceramist Frances Lambe. The exhibition has been co-commissioned by MCAC and the Basement Gallery in Dundalk and this partnership represents MCAC’s strong interest in and commitment to contemporary craft and design and ongoing support in the creation and promotion of new work by innovative designer-makers.
Lambe draws inspiration from a convergence of contrasting sources. This new body of work springs from visual research into disparate areas interest including geography, biology, botany and astronomy, highlighting Lambe’s fascination with the visual ‘inter-relatedness’ of microscopic life.
In the exhibition’s catalogue essay Eleanor Flegg writes, “Lambe’s ceramic forms describe an underwater world. Their purity of form recalls stones that have been polished by the movement of water and sand. They describe relationships between land and sea: drumlins sculpted by the retreating ice, the sweep of eroded rock. Others reference the microscopic, the skeletal remains of tiny sea creatures. Some are displayed in multiples, suspended in undulating shoals or appearing to slip down the surface of the wall. Larger pieces rock on rounded bases, their surfaces pierced with a patterning that recalls both charts and constellations. The work has a depth and integrity that goes beyond its biomorphic grace: these are meeting points, recollections between air, sea and land. They describe the way that we navigate the worlds below and above the surface of the water.”
By exploring a counterpoint of opposites, Lambe seeks to engage the viewer in a visual dialogue and tactile investigation, through a subtle variation of media and texture. Lambe presents a dichotomy of approaches with visual inquiry into opposite concepts such as smooth/ textured, minimal/ intricate, single/ multiple, convex/ concave and microscopic/ vast. The sphere, the oval and undulating forms underpin Lambe’s visual language and the form of each piece is the prime focus. The constructed walls form a taut ‘membrane’ between the inner and exterior space. Holes punctuate the surface and link interior to exterior.
Lambe describes her own process as, ‘turning mud into stone’ and as a result the intensively beautiful pieces that are created by Lambe have an organic quality – the work seems to have evolved in a geological process rather than have been made.
Lambe is an award-winning artist whose work has been exhibited both internationally and extensively throughout Ireland. Her work was selected for exhibition for ‘Image of Longing’ at the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny in 2008 and was a guest artist at the Ceramics Ireland International Festival in Kilkenny. She has also shown with the Crafts Council of Ireland at SOFA, in Chicago. Her work is in public and private collections including the National Museum of Ireland, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in Belfast and Tokyo and Louth County Council.