Every Now and Then is the title of Bridget Sue Lambert’s new solo show at the Arlington Arts Center, on view through June 28th. Her recent work is an invitation to look back on our past, to turn back to that gap where we have already been but want to revisit only with experiences and lessons learned in hindsight.
In this exhibition, the public is invited to perform and create a scene, like dioramas. Lambert presents the audience with a large format magnetic vinyl print with multiple interchangeable objects to create or recreate a bedroom scene. Objects such as a cake, chips, doughnuts, underwear, wine, liquor, a box of chocolates, sandals, toilet paper, a rosary, a bible, books, chandeliers, suitcases, a box of condoms, an electric guitar, vases, a hair dryer and sunglasses set the stage. Each object is cut out individually in such a way as to allow the viewer to take each item from the rectangular panel and incorporate them onto the white bedroom. One can create the ideal bedroom or recreate a scene from one’s past like a memorable moment or a harsh moment from a breakup.
The other piece in the exhibition is a large scale print of a doll house. The two levels in the house show the different rooms and an attic full of random objects out of order, like those spaces we use for clutter to store belongings we really don’t need and somehow we can’t seem to get rid of.
The first floor of the house has a bar, a kitchen, a breakfast table and a dining room. Like Lambert’s other piece, one can see a lot of detail such as a trash bag, or a cooler with a bag of ice sitting inside it as one could find in any dwelling or home. The second level has “his” and “hers” rooms with artwork, TVs, dressers and rugs. Lambert tries to fool the viewer with the scale of the objects; in many of her photographs, momentary confusion leads one to wonder if the room really exists or if it is reconstructed from a dollhouse. The open doll house photograph, which is almost actual size when viewed from the front, creates a sensation that one or more people can fit inside of it giving one the urge to explore the house from the inside out.
Lambert’s work deconstructs relationships between couples, with a great sense of humor. Her work comments on moments when couples connect or misunderstand one another. Like those moments when two people connect and stay together or decide to fight and go their separate ways and, of course, those moments of loneliness where souls reflect on their despair.
Her work scrutinizes the sexual tensions between couples, examining every detail, like the scene of an undone bed with some handcuffs on the side, a box of condoms, underwear on the floor and alcohol beside the bed. In other series of her work, we see a couple getting undressed by a window with both looking out, in a voyeuristic manner but, at the same time, this is an invitation for the viewer to search within his/her own relationships.
Her works exposes all those things we want to hide from others, those aspects we want to keep secret, our space, our intimacy, everything we want to keep behind closed doors—love, passion, despair, nostalgia, loneliness and all the feelings and situations we all experience in our intimate relationships. Whether looking inside or outside of the bedroom, or the house, Lambert invites the viewer to look inside his/her own life.
Bridget Sue Lambert’s Every Now and Again is on view at Arlington Arts Center through June 28 2015. Visit her website www.bridgetsuelambert.com/ Arlington Arts Center’s website is arlingtonartscenter.org; check their website for summer hours, directions and up-to-date contact information.