30 Dec

The Fluffy tapes – ten years on

I have been able to secure the services of the ideal interviewer, an imaginary figure called Fluffy The Bunny who has figured in my work. It follows an interview we did 10 years ago.

Fluffy: I can’t quite believe that its ten years since you last had a solo show.

Lamb:   Well neither can I. In the last ten years I have continued to paint, show in places, and teach a couple of days a week. I do seem much busier than I was ten years ago.

Fluffy: In what way?

Lamb: I continue to paint pictures, but in the last ten years I have also started a design label called the Feral Housewife. This year I illustrated a children’s book called Mrs H Sings whilst continuing to teach a couple of days a week.

Fluffy: Are you painting the same things?

Lamb: The paintings evolve, but they are freer. I have become more adroit at coming to conclusions quicker and with more assurance. However I still find it impossible not to allow humour and strands of narrative to creep into my work.

Fluffy: Tell me about the graphic work?

Lamb: Well as you know Fluffy, I have had quite a dialogue with you. I get a guilty enjoyment of making cards and pictures featuring you in my studio, and sniggering at them. The design work is beginning to have more of an impact on my paintings, making my line flow in a simpler way. I am hovering on dramatically reinventing it in painting.

Fluffy: I notice that some of your design work also features a lot of text?

Lamb: Yes, I have played with making text part of my work. It continues to be a challenge but is also evolving. A lot of calligraphers and designers get quite anal about the perfect lettering etc. – my approach instead is to look back to the Punk movement and the Beat Generation for inspiration, and try and make words work as pictures.

Fluffy: What about the children’s book?

Lamb: My work can have a somewhat dark sense of humour to it, and so I had to work quite hard to soften this whilst keeping the childlike sense of fun you want in a children’s book. It was an enjoyable challenge, and working with the Singalong Band to create the images for the book of songs was exciting. I would quite like to explore it further with another book or even contributing to an animation for kids.

Fluffy: What happened about the Prison series and the dark garden series?

Lamb: I am still developing them, although I hanker after a larger studio and more time. In a recent show with Chris Milton I used fairy tales as inspiration and examined the complicit arrangements between the various protagonists’ in each story. I used Velasquez as inspiration.

Fluffy: What about the drawing and painting?

Lamb: Over the last ten years I have sometimes revisited my past by playing at being an academic painter of objects, although I think this period in my work has come to an end. Drawing from life is important and I continue to attend regular life classes.

Fluffy: How do feel about your work?

Lamb: Art has given me a lifelong enjoyment of looking and making art. It still continues to intrigue me, I would like to spend more time doing it, and I am glad that I still show work and sell.

Fluffy: What is next for you?

Lamb: I believe my work has got better, stronger and there are still new ideas and subjects that I would like to explore. I have a show coming up in May at St. Anne’s Galleries – people can contact me if they want to come.