8 Mar 2017

Claire Lambe: Mother Holding Something Horrific

In this major exhibition of newly commissioned work, the artist’s most ambitious project to date, Claire Lambe employs sculpture, photography, biography and theatrical mise-en-scène to create intimate and intense psychological spaces in an ambitious attempt to describe the human condition in its cruel reality and horrifying glory.

Known for her strange and often abject sculptural forms, Claire Lambe’s work explores psychological narratives of gender, sexuality, identity and class, leading to anxious objects full of revelatory and emancipatory potential. In a deeply subjective and sometimes transgressive practice of psychodrama and catharsis, Melbourne-based and English-born Lambe draws upon a rich bank of personal history and reference material as a starting point for her investigation into the ambiguity between memory and experience, reality and re-enactment.

Claire Lambe: Mother Holding Something Horrific will charge ACCA’s extensive gallery spaces with a series of dramatic installations that are at once uncanny, anarchic and full of life and libido. The installation will be further enlivened by an occasional series of performances by contemporary dancer and choreographer Atlanta Eke which will develop in the gallery space over the course of the exhibition, continuing an ongoing collaboration between the two artists.

“If an abiding theme exists across Lambe’s diverse practice, it is the exploration of unconscious impulses and primal scenes,” says ACCA’s Artistic Director, Max Delany. “Underlying these sculptural configurations – which are marked by an existential simplicity and austerity – is Lambe’s memory of her youth growing up in northern England, and a questioning of the various archetypal roles that now frame her as an adult – as a mother, daughter, sister, partner, friend – with their attendant behaviours and expectations.”

Claire Lambe: Mother Holding Something Horrific, curated by Max Delany and Annika Kristensen, conjures an intoxicating brew of contexts and influences – from Jacobean architecture and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to British television and European cinema of the 1970s, and from art history, philosophy and Freudian psychoanalysis to popular cultural references and ritualistic practices.
The exhibition will invite the viewer to reflect upon our many interior and exterior drives and impulses – the making of our past, present and their future selves.

Claire Lambe: Mother Holding Something Horrific
8 April – 25 June 2017

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
111 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006, Melbourne, Australia
10 am–5 pm Tuesday to Friday; 11 am–5 pm weekends and public holidays, Monday by appointment.  Tel: +61 3 9697 9999.  Admission: Free