DigBoston, July 14 2014 • Susanna Jackson
In “Deeper,” a shadow is hunched in the woods. The bare winter branches visible through the person’s translucent torso appear as a tangle of uncertain arteries. The fading figure could be light playing a trick on the eye, and yet the feet have left two imprints in the freshly fallen snow.
Chris Maliga’s ethereal photograph is one of the twenty pieces on display at the Nave Gallery Annex as part of their latest group exhibition, Winter, a companion to the Annex’s 2013 inaugural show. Whereas PICNIC provided a splash of vibrant color in the midst of a blustery January, the works inWinter showcase “the cold that is warm with comfort” during the height of July’s blistering heat. The show, curated by Susan Berstler and Jenn Harrington, was inspired by the songs of folk band Brown Bird, whose founder, vocalist, and guitarist Dave Lamb passed away earlier this year after a year-long battle with leukemia.
“It wasn’t my initial intention to dedicate the show to Dave,” says Harrington. “But as the exhibit formed, it felt like a reflection of him. It is a beautiful show and it is a complex one: There are things at rest and there are storms; there is isolation, shapes shattered, the weight of the body, and there is strength in those images; there is preservation and intimacy, thoughtfulness and awe, embracing quirk.”
Like footprints in the snow, this show is evidence of the impact Lamb had on his fans, and aims to keep his memory in focus by celebrating his life and music. During the opening this Thursday, Brown Bird CDs will be available to purchase and their music will play throughout the duration of the exhibit.
“People can die, but you don’t have to let them go,” says Harrington. “And it would mean the world to his family, his friends, his admirers, if more people would listen. In the future I hope to hear many good Brown Bird covers. But keeping Dave’s memory alive does not have to only be in the hands and vocal chords of musicians.”
MorganEve Swain, Lamb’s wife and the other half of Brown Bird, says she is “ honored by the dedication of Winter to him.”
She continues: “Dave was an artist and a searcher–constantly creating, challenging himself, and looking for deeper meaning in spirituality, in music, in words and in his relationships. I think it is important and profound to have his memory recalled through the visual arts as well as the written word and performed sound. His was an all-encompassing creativ[e], moved by everything around him. I am comforted that his memory continues to inspire artists of every type.”