Artist Feature: Molly Lambourn

My practice specialises in drawing, I draw obsessively on 2D and 3D forms. I am inspired by literature and explore themes of womanhood, self, and mundanity. My work is decadently intricate and detailed, subverting conventional images of beauty and femininity to explore darker realities. 

I am interested in making typically domestic or non fine art objects important and bringing them into fine art settings. I studied my BA in History and focused on the history of women, specifically working class women whose stories are seldom focused on. I am fascinated by their lives, the idea of the domestic and objects that have gone ignored, the stories they have seen and the trauma they might have witnessed. I draw on objects as a way of thinking about this and connecting with the history of women. 

When I draw and make my work, I think about my life and the lives of those before me and the stories that haven’t been told. I think about the everyday dismissal of things that are mundane or feminine and this feels like the dismissal of women’s power. With every pen mark I try to claw back our untold stories and restore our power, place and legacy. With every stroke I tell myself and women after me that our stories are worth telling and that our lives are ours to define. 

Some of my favourite modern influences have to be Grayson Perry, Shary Boyle, Marco Mazzoni and Yayoi Kusama. Historically I adore Aubrey Beardsley, he was drawing in Victorian England and lived a short life but the sheer quantity and quality of work he made before the age of 25 is truly inspiring. I love the detail, debauchery and beauty of his work and it is something that inspires the way I draw. I also find that reading inspires my visual work deeply, there are books I find myself continually going back to and finding inspiration from The Great Gatsby, anything by Jane Austen, and Metamorphosis. I believe influence can come from anywhere and will inspire you when you least expect it. 

I think what ArtCan does is incredible – there are so many roadblocks to becoming an artist and ArtCan welcomes you if you are self-taught, doing it part time or just starting out as an artist. ArtCan doesn’t worry how connected you are or how amazing your social media is, it cares about creating a community and building a support network for people based on the quality of the work they make. It offers artists a community, community is so important because the art world can be isolating and having others to connect with is truly invaluable. I have a lot to thank ArtCan for, my first show in London and my first International show in Stockholm, these are not everyday opportunities and to be able to offer these opportunities at a low cost is a brilliant thing and has the potential to shake the landscape for how art is accessed and engaged with. 

I am currently saving for a mortgage with my boyfriend of 5 years, so after I graduated from my Masters I made the decision to work part time to help us to achieve that goal. Balancing this job with my art involves being quite organised and being prepared to do a few hours of making in the evening and having fairly strict working hours on the days I am not in my other job. Eventually I will go back to being an artist full time, but for now it makes sense to make sure I am achieving my personal goals. The key thing for me has always been to never treat my art as a hobby and to nurture is with the respect that it deserves, even if this means working through the weekend. 

I think it’s important to take time to celebrate every success, no matter how small. You can get so wrapped up in the big picture and people who seem further ahead to you but really your journey is a personal one and it will be different for everyone. So when something good happens, take the time out and enjoy it and share it with those close to you – never be afraid to shout from the rooftops about the amazing work you do!