Under Sky Above Ocean
Silica, Pigments, and Eucalyptus cellulose fibre (biodegradable glitter) on timber substrate.
Dimensions: H 37cm x W 30cm x D 7cm
Material: Ultramarine and Phalo blue pigments, Shoalhaven silica and Eucalyptus cellulose fibre (biodegradable glitter) on timber substrate
H: 28 cm W: 19 cm D: 7.5 cm
At first glance, one might categorize Kenneth Lambert's digital works and his paintings as disparate entities, given their different thrusts. The former is rooted in conceptual narratives, utilizing the precision of technology to depict tales of displacement and history. The latter, on the other hand, thrives on the raw, visceral power of personal experience. However, on closer observation, the threads binding both mediums emerge, and one of the most potent threads is Lambert's exploration of monochrome, particularly his obsession with the colour blue.
Lambert's textural works are a testament to the imperfections of memory. They do not present a clear or precise picture but convey the recollection's hazy, fragmented nature. The granular quality of his chosen materials, like sand, mirrors the granular nature of memory itself – where some details are sharp and clear, while others fade or shift over time. This experience-driven approach serves as a counterpoint to his more conceptually driven digital works, offering viewers a more personal, intimate insight into his psyche.
However, Lambert's paintings' most profound and recurring motif is his use of blue. For Lambert, blue is more than just a hue; it is a vehicle for exploring black identity and his connection to Africa. This colour resonates in the musical legacies of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane – all jazz giants and paragons of black excellence. Their music, imbued with deep emotional cadences and intricate histories, frequently returned to the theme of 'blue', whether explicitly in titles or implicitly in mood.
Growing up displaced from Africa, it is no surprise that Lambert found solace in the sounds of these jazz maestros. Their music represented the pinnacle of artistic achievement and a tether to the continent he had lost. The 'blue' in their music – often a melodic exploration of pain, joy, struggle, and hope – provided a conduit for Lambert's yearnings and memories. It represented a thought line, a pulsating vein of history, leading back to the vast landscapes of Africa.
In adopting blue as a central theme in his paintings, Lambert does more than pay homage to these musical legends. He uses the colour as a canvas to explore the multiplicities of black identity. Blue becomes a symbol of the vastness of the African diaspora, the depth of its pain, the richness of its culture, and the hope for a future where these narratives are neither forgotten nor marginalized.
In conclusion, Lambert's monochromatic explorations, especially his fixation on blue, present a profound marriage of personal memory and broader historical narratives. While his digital works might engage the mind with their sharp conceptual narratives, his paintings touch the soul, offering a deep dive into the ocean of black identity and the undulating waves of the African experience.
Synthetic Polymer, Silica, pigment, eucalyptus cellulose (biodegradable glitter) on plywood board, aluminium frame.
158 cm x 122 cm x 8cm framed