Lana Lambert is this month’s cover artist for FOURSQUARE. I could only use part of the bio she sent for the magazine, but I thought it was interesting and people might like to read it (in the spirit, perhaps, of ecopoetics, deep listening, soundscapes, observation, site-specific works, etc.). You can see and buy her artists’ books and prints here and her letterpressed stationery here. If you’re local, her work is currently up at the McGuffy Art Center’s Annual Holiday Group Show.

About the Artist
Lana Lambert is a print/bookmaker who resides in the Afton Mountain area of Nelson County. She received her undergraduate degree from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. with a concentration in printmaking. Her main focus lies within the techniques of Japanese Woodblock Printing, Letterpress, Lino-cutting, and other subtractive practices. In this current exhibition, you will see the sharp lines and patterns of trees and plants and their growth patterns against the evening skies. Lana observes the patterns of tree growths in her surrounding countryside and then incorporates them with her own renditions to imitate the natural rhythm that the forms continue to adopt.

Natural Rhythm
There is nothing that will ever compare to the experience of being alone in the forest. In a society that is more reliant of technological advances and the safety of being “hooked in” and “linked up,” it is harder and harder to commune with nature without the experience being contrived or dampened by the distraction of a cellphone, palm pilot, or laptop. Take a hike on the Appalachian Trail. Bring your necessary supplies. Reach the point of a summit and turn off your cellphone. As you stand alone in the forest, be quiet and listen and look for what you otherwise might be missing. Did you see that crawling beetle before or hear that red tail hawk in the distance? Now if you spend more than an hour in that same place you will probably make more introspective observations if you study the flora about the area. Are all the trees smaller in that area? Was there a recent fire? That tree with the open stump on one end, was it struck by lightening or disease? An even greater epiphany is to realize what sort of paleontology lies within the mountain on which you are standing. The Blue Ridge Mountains are an ancient formation that rivaled the Himalayas when they predated land dwelling creatures in the Devonian Era. But I digress, I find the patterns and twisting beauty of a treescape in the dusk to be very intoxicating. In observing and rendering the formations I see, I gain a knowledge about how our flora grow and adapt to life as time goes by and it’s rather entertaining to see the similarities between trees and human psychiatric growth. For example, one can observe that if a tree’s limb is sheered off, the organism can either stop growth in that area or put forth the energy to sprout a new shoot from the old wound. Similarly, if it is strong enough, a young tree in the face of adversity will twist and weave itself poetically into adulthood as a hardier formation than be blown or bent to the ground. I am recording these observations for you just as much as a reminder for myself.


About Jessica Smith
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2 Responses to

  1. Steven Fama says:

    Lana Lambert’s one-of-a-kind wooden books with cut-out forest scenes look amazing — just amazing — on Etsy. She obviously has very good (to say the least) eyes and one hell of a hand. I love the attention to detail, and she must have sustained that over a pretty long period of time. The books are really something.

  2. Jessica Smith says:

    I have one of Lana’s smaller books (the likes of it aren’t for sale on Etsy, but it’s basically a portfolio of the blue fir prints); it’s very beautiful. One of her prints sits on my desk. They have this great strong, still, huge, moving, almost spooky quality. Next time I have un-earmarked money I’m planning to buy more of her b&w tree prints. They’re really powerful. I’m not sure how to describe it (obviously)… it’s not sacred or sublime so much as spooky, mystical. I also like that, as she says in the description of the sage treescape, you can see the wood grain from the original carving faintly in the paint of the print.

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