EX: 1/30/2012
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Sullivan+Strumpf Sydney
2019.03.22 Fri - 2019.04.20 Sat
Opening Exhibition
799 Elizabeth St Zetland, Sydney NSW
+61 2 9698 4696
Opening Hours
Tues-Sat 10-5pm
Ursula Sullivan and Joanna Strumpf

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JOANNA LAMB, Everything is Waiting, Sullivan+Strumpf Sydney
[Press Release]


Each and everything in our world is waiting. The sky, the land, trees, birds, flowers are waiting. Cities, buildings, roads, houses and everything within is waiting. They are all waiting, to live, to die, to be built, to be torn down, to be noticed, to be forgotten. Everything will be uploaded, downloaded, saved, clicked, liked. Each poised to take their place in the global panoply of digital images, reproduced in the superhighway of representation which drives our visual lives. Everything is waiting. There is an inevitability to that statement. It suggests some indiscriminate force which all things will, in the end, be consumed by. Joanna Lamb admits to complicity in this process; the ideology of consumption is her territory. Lamb’s world is the everyday, one in which the life of things is squeezed, reduced, flattened-out to conform to the language of consumerist ideology. Her source imagery includes everything and anything from anywhere; everyday images which in the Pop tradition, she selects only to then flatten, as if collapsing each subject under a great press in order to expunge the content. But in Lamb’s everyday houses, flower arrangements, parks and petrol stations, there is, as Hans Hofman has said, “a fundamental difference between flatness and flatness.” There is as Hofman put it, “a flatness that is meaningless and a flatness that is the highest expression of life– from infinity depth up to the surface: an ultimately restored two-dimensionality. Restoring flatness is what plastic creation means. Otherwise it’s decoration.”[1]

The thing then that interests Lamb is not the what, not the gesture or manner of an object, not an expression of the thing itself, but the process, the way in which the image is crafted; how this two-dimensional experience of something in the world is constructed. These most recent acrylic paintings – on board as opposed to Lamb’s usual canvas – are created like collages in which the image is broken down using masking film into individually stencilled shapes of flat colour. Using acrylic on board allows for greater sharpness; edges are cleaner, lines more definite, the image flatter, whilst paradoxically retaining its hand-made character. As the painting develops, the layered image unfolds but the pictorial illusion is disrupted. Lamb’s flatness emphasises the illusionistic nature of painting and by firmly placing her subject in the everyday, ‘Everything is Waiting’ offers a welcome alternative to the saturating nature of consumer culture.

[1]Hans Hofman “Lecture I”
Petrol Station 2018 Acrylic on board 46 x 61cm

Petrol Station 2018 Acrylic on board 46 x 61cm

Frangipani 2018 acrylic on board 61 x 46 cm

Frangipani 2018 acrylic on board 61 x 46 cm

Hoarding 2018 acrylic on board 61 x 46 cm

Hoarding 2018 acrylic on board 61 x 46 cm


Joanna Lamb has been included in numerous institutional exhibitions including The Real Thing, Murray Art Museum, Albury (2017); The Triumph of Modernism, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & TarraWarra Museum of Art (2015); Sublime Point: The Landscape in Painting, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gymea (2014); PICA Salon 2013, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (2013); Holiday and Memory, Penrith Regional Gallery and Lewers Bequest, Sydney (2013); Built, Art Gallery of Western Australia (2009); and Parallel Lives: Australian Painting Today, TarraWarra Biennial, TarraWarra Museum of Art (2006). Collections include Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Parliament House, Canberra; TarraWarra Museum of Art, VIC; Macquarie University, Sydney; La Trobe University, Melbourne; Edith Cowan University, Perth; University of Western Australia, Perth. Lamb was a finalist for the Bankwest Contemporary Art Prize 2015, one of the most prestigious prizes for Western Australian contemporary artists.