In Kellie Lambert’s Dickinson period, her paintings were a surrealistic and symbolic montage. It is not, however, the surrealism of Dali. No, it is a surrealism that harkens back to Emily Dickinson.
In this painting two birds float in the foreground. One is black and dominant; the other, pink and submissive. I can’t help but suspect that the birds are related. Perhaps they are sisters. The older sister, I think, is the bolder darker one.
Above the birds to the right is a tree house. The tree that holds the tree house descends into a series of logs under which peak out two barely noticeable feet that belong to a little girl. The feet perhaps represent the buried desires that exist in their most innocent form in the tree houses of children.
Above the birds to the left is a pale window. All windows point both outside and inside. The window in this painting would seem to be pointing primarily inside – it is giving us a glimpse of someone’s inner being. Nonetheless, the window makes one feel as if one can see beyond it to the outside. It thus in a peculiar way gives both perspectives.
In the lower left corner sits a black figure. Although it is on the same level as the child’s feet, as a result of the bright color surrounding it the figure visually feels like the lowest part of the painting. Perhaps it represents death, that permanent inhabitant of all our deepest feelings.
There is much more to say about this painting. It has a peculiar geometry. The colors are almost painful. And much, much more.
Come Slowly, Eden! What is Kellie saying? I feel as if she is trying to say something. But then again, perhaps not. Dreams are like that.
It is a remarkable painting.
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