I was moseying around art sites in the ether when I spotted them – crows. Crows are important in our family – even if they’re prone to masquerade as ravens on occasion. Here on my island, in the southern seas, a murder of them are commonly referred to as the ‘highway patrol’, due to their penchant for cleaning up the copious road kill we humans daily inflict on the native wildlife.
But for my beautiful, writerly daughter crows represent her paternal grandfather – my dad. A crow is his totem if you like. She never met him, he was sadly gone before she was born – but she feels his spirit watches over her in the form of any single crow espied. Now he has the added pleasure of watching over our precious Tessa Tiger too. Whenever the pair of them are out and about adventuring and the little one spots a black feathered avian, she asks her Mummy if it’s Grandpa Fred – invariably it is. It’s good knowing he’s keeping her safe, as he did me, once upon a time.
I love the notion of a totem. I’ve always regarded the sea eagle, the one that often swoops by our house here on the river, riding the air-currents from further up the valley, as mine. Perhaps it means that a portion of my heart resides with the First Peoples – who knows? But an eagle free in the wild never ceases to move me. And for Tess her totem is obvious – be it Tasmanian or Indian.
So when crows put in an appearance as I happened on some examples of Trisha Lambi’s art work stumbling through cyberspace, well, obviously, I took notice. In one painting a crow was perched on the knee of a semi-clad model, in another a duo of them were patrolling around a pair of legs in high heels. Yep, I liked Lambi’s crows. I wondered if they had some significance for the artist. I’m not into art wankery, just knowing what I like and don’t. When I took a closer look at TL’s work, I was taken in by it – and perhaps you will too, although there is some mild NSFW that comes with some of her output.
Her oeuvre has been routinely described as sensual and that would be the word that immediately springs to my mind too. But Lambi claims it is not for the ‘…gratification of all or any of the senses...’ that compels her to paint the feminine form. What interests her is ‘…light on skin, light on inanimate objects and light on anything really.’
She claims to have been drawing her gender ever since she was old enough to hold a pencil and with artistic endeavour seemingly running in her family, it would have a been an obvious vocational choice for her too. She was born in Warwick, Queensland, being a member of a very large family by today’s standards. It wasn’t, though, till her own children were born that she became serious about her painting. In conquering the medium she’s reached the heights of representing Australia in exhibitions all over the world. But she’s had a rough couple of years of late, losing both parents in quick succession in 2014, so she has thrown herself into her output as a salve to her grieving. She currently resides in the Sunshine State on the rurban fringe of Ipswich. There she finds the tranquility she craves.
So it’s true that it was a crow that first caught my attention, but it was her human subjects that kept my eye lingering in her site. She has stated it is important for art lovers to feel her work rather than really understand it – she says she cannot even do the latter herself. To me it’s just beautifully and wonderfully wrought so as to be so attractive to at least one of my senses. That alone’s enough, isn’t it?
The artist’s website = http://www.trishalambi.com/index.html