Bree Lamb (b. 1984) is a working artist and photographer based in New Mexico. She received her MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico in 2015. Bree is a Beaumont Newhall/Van Deren Coke Fellow and is represented by Gallery 19 in Chicago. She is the Assistant Editor of Fraction Magazine, Project Manager at Fraction Editions, and Part-Time Faculty at New Mexico State University. Bree has previously worked for Wildenstein & Company, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Fovea Exhibitions, and photo technique Magazine.
PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: A House, A Home
2016 – present
In the series, A House, A Home, I isolate ubiquitous household objects as a way to begin to investigate traditions of domestic American life. My observations are rooted in my own personal indulgences, expectations, and questions, as well as how I see myself existing within this larger system. I'm interested in revealing some of the complex layers of this shared cultural vernacular through pairing the familiar with the unexpected and creating anticipation that is never quite resolved. The interventions and style of capture re-contextualize the objects as a way to challenge traditional domesticity and to pose questions about convention, consumption, and convenience as staples of American popular culture.
When and where did A House, A Home begin?
This project stems from my examinations about my own domestic life. I was looking pretty deeply into my habits, privileges, and indulgences, and how I fit into the complicated structure of domesticity and consumerism. From these initial thoughts, I also began to think about common measures of social or domestic success, gender stereotypes, and the seemingly insatiable desire to own “things.” It was important for me to try to make work that presented and challenged these ideas in a way that left room for audience interpretation. The development of content and technique developed organically once I decided that a simple, effective way to communicate the ideas could be to use commonplace objects as representations of larger issues. It’s been a fun and challenging project. Sometimes I find an object at a thrift store and I can pre-visualize the image, and other times I’ve got an idea in mind and I’m not sure exactly how it might be realized. In that sense, the workflow has bounced around and kept the project a bit unpredictable, even though the aesthetics of the final images fit into a typology.
Where do you see this body of work going?
The project is still relatively new. I started it in the fall of 2016, but I didn’t really tease out my ideas or my method of capture until this past spring. Once I started figuring out the capture, lighting and post-processing techniques that were interesting to me in conveying the idea, the project got a bit of momentum. I’m at a point right now where I am still making images but I don’t want to force anything, so I’m taking a step back a bit and trying to be a bit more reflective about what themes, ideas, and images are working and which ones aren’t. I’m part of a four-person show “Two Point Five Children” in Chicago at Gallery 19 that opens September 8th. It’s the first time that the work will be shown in a large quantity, as I’ve only shown a few pieces in large group shows. Ideally I would love to keep making work for the series, and continue to show in exhibitions where multiple images from the series are displayed, as I think the images work best when juxtaposed with each other.
What helps you sustain your current creative practice?
I teach at New Mexico State University, and I also work for Fraction Magazine and Fraction Editions. I’m constantly reviewing so many different, strong bodies of work. I think that seeing lots of diverse ideas and applications really helps to motivate me to get to work. I’m inspired by the photography that I’m privileged to see in these roles, and the insights and ideas that the photographers share.
What’s next for you?
I plan on continuing to explore different projects and ideas and hopefully make interesting work. I also love teaching and would love to continue teaching at the collegiate level. My position at Fraction has been really amazing, and I’ve been particularly interested in our imprint and having the opportunity to work on publishing fine art photo-books. I’d like to dig a little bit deeper in this world and continue to work with talented, creative artists to bring their book to life.