Multi-disciplinary talks organisation
In 2011 Caroline co-founded Ideas-matter-sphere with artist Elizabeth Murton.
The concept developed from spontaneous discussions at Caroline’s installations when visitors would identify and discuss specific connections between their own practice and the artwork. The visitors came from a wide range of backgrounds, many from the sciences, and their comments often led to fascinating discussions and a sharing of ideas. They ended at the exhibition, however, often leaving a sense there was much more to discuss and share with others.
Ideas-matter-sphere provided the forum for such discussions to develop further and to involve a wider, public audience. The speakers at the salons generously shared their expertise in everyday language so that complex ideas could be understood and shared, and the emphasis on audience participation brought many minds into the discussion. Events were informal, being held in a pub and with plenty of bar breaks, but also structured and gently kept in order by academic chairmen.
The development process for each salon was curatorial. Concepts were not pre-conceived or imposed on speakers, emerging instead from discussions with potential speakers during which their specific areas of interest were identified, reflecting the ethos of the ideas-matter-sphere programme. Connections could then made with other speakers’ subjects. The pairing of speakers and connecting concepts were regarded as catalysts for ideas and discussion, rather than proving points; and a means to foster connections and contacts for both audience and speakers. To further these connections, both speakers and chairman were invited to meet and start exploring ideas before the event.
Speakers included David Batchelor, artist and author; Professor Vlatko Vedral, Professor of Physics at University of Oxford; Sarah Lea, curator of the Joseph Cornell exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts; and Philip Hall Patch, artist and lead architect of the London Garden Bridge project at Heatherwick Studios. The salons were held in a private room at The Devereux pub, near Fleet Street, London (since closed) and there was a curated exhibition, A Matter of Substance, with salon at APT Gallery, London.
Ideas-matter-sphere events were curated by Caroline Lambard between 2011-2015; with Elizabeth Murton (2011-12); and with Mat Clum (2015).
Ideas-matter-sphere events ended in 2015, and have since been taken forward by Caroline Lambard and Mat Clum in new and complementary directions:
studio salons, 2016 - current
Ideas-matter-sphere events ended in December 2015 when Caroline returned to her installation and drawings practice. She then brought the discussions into the studio and back to the artwork. This was to address an issue that conventional talks formats cannot always address, namely, the benefits of having the actual artwork present.
In the studio context, events could be immersed in the artwork, which had several advantages. It meant that the artist was no longer required to interpret their work through a secondary language of slides and presentations. It also made room for the individual viewpoints of artist and viewers that frequently develop around artwork. Here, all viewpoints could be present and given voice. Finally, though more speculatively, this format allows the observers to observe and interact with the artwork during conversations, with the possibility that it could have a direct a bearing on how the conversation and ideas develop.
The purpose of the salons is to share and develop ideas, and the experimental formats allow creative exploration.
Salons to date
August 2016 - Time
An invited group of practitioners from the fields of astrophysics, installation art, performance art, illustration and ceramics.
Each participant gave a short presentation of their work before the discussion. In this way, everyone present had a clear sense of the others' working practices before the discussion began. The discussion also moved between three artists’ studios over the course of the event, which lasted around five hours.
December 2016 - Crossing Boundaries
Studio discussion with artists Rosalind Davis, Sasha Bowles and Caroline Lambard, part of a public open studio event
Rosalind Davis and Sasha Bowles were invited by Caroline Lambard to exhibit and discuss their work before a public audience in the studio. The discussion explored the different ways in which each artist’s work had moved between two- and three-dimensions. There were short talks by the artists and then a wider discussion with the audience.
July 2017 - Studio Gathering
A group of around 22 practitioners, from many disciplines, gathered in the studio to make the exhibition of Caroline’s new drawings the starting point for a wider discussion. By focusing on the artwork it was regularly brought back into the discussion, therefore playing a tangible part in the framing of ideas. And some great feedback from a participant at this salon: 'Enjoyed your last studio event so much - wouldn't want to miss another...!'
Future studio salons will be organised alongside exhibitions of the work.
If you would like further information or news of future events, please email
via the Contact page on this site.
Tickbird and Rhino
Mat Clum, who worked with ideas-matter-sphere in 2015, is also taking concepts from the salons into this new organisation Details are on the Tickbird&Rhino website.
Image: ideas-matter-sphere salon in progress at the Devereux pub