Over the past two decades, Claire Lambe has engaged the material and transformative possibilities of sculpture—and more recently the relationships between object/form and image/photograph—to unsettle conventional notions around gender and class. Her work particularly draws upon personal histories in relation to the sexual promiscuity and violence associated with the experimental art, music and club scenes of late 1970s Northern England and often focuses our attention to the ways in which power might be signified through popular culture.
Trained as a sculptor, and known for her strange and often abject sculptural forms, Lambe's work engages the female body to address underlying histories of sexuality, violence and social discontent. She is interested in focusing attention on individual artefacts and sculptural objects and their cultural and social meanings; thus revealing the dichotomy by which one might be simultaneously attracted to and repelled by objects—specifically objects which extend her own interest in pleasure, violence, ritual, and commodity culture.
Staging bodies abstractedly as metaphors for living and dying, feeling pain and pleasure, Lambe aligns the body with the structural considerations of making, not just art-making but making anything – humans, waste, movement, sound, light, reproductions and affects… At once heavy and light, her work can seem laden with authorial subjectivities and yet irreverently detached, bound neither by fantasy nor by their inferences of lived reality.
Wes Hill, Broadsheet Journal, 46.3 2017.