Photographic Alphabet: L is for Molly Lamb’s “Let It Go”
By Tyson Duffy
Photographer and poet Molly Lamb is a surveyor of human memory, a scholar of sense-impressions. Her simple, sensuous images focus on light and dark in equal measure, reminding the viewer that inasmuch as the remembered object is central, so too is the darkness that envelops it. Her work, including the exhibit Let It Go and much else, is currently on show at the Rick Wester Fine Art gallery on 26th Street in Manhattan until November 19th.
Lamb takes for her inspiration the boxes of possessions left to her by deceased family members, using small objects and scraps to explore the memories of her own past as well as her own interpretation of the memories of those she’s lost. Rich dark textures, highlighted by counterintuitive splashes of color—a bright piece of fabric, an origami bird, a flower petal—invite the viewer to experience memory in the delirious, complex way she does. Or in the way those have, who are past and gone.
The composition of the imagery is particularly extraordinary. Setting light and dark at odds in unique ways, making use of a fluctuating symmetry, casting reflected images of movement against textured backdrops, she attains a degree of disorientation that is akin to the faculty of memory itself.
In the end, the viewer feels pleasantly lost in a twisting hall of mental fragments. Yet the borders of the images seem not to relinquish the absence surrounding the picture, but to bring in what is unknown and unseen beyond. As important as the act of memory is, the shadowy bulwark of the mind’s dark surround is what is on display.