We all have a story to tell. A way that we engage with the world, or the way the world engages with us. While some paint or play music, others draw, sculpt or write. But inside each of us is a soul destined to create, to make something beautiful, to tell our story with the world.
This Southeast Missouri woman uses ink as her medium. Ink is the tool; the story is her life.
Printmaker, sculptor and performance and installation artist
Not everyone is so eager to share their story. Jessica Lambert, a graduate of the fine arts program at Southeast Missouri State University, was once reluctant to engage with art that told a story. Instead, she created individual pieces, letting each stand alone without connection to the others. It wasn’t until she experienced a personal health scare that she began to focus on her own story and creating art that brought her experiences together.
Much of Lambert’s work focuses on women’s reproductive health and human interaction, through performance, sculpture, installation and printmaking. While ink is a medium she uses regularly, she never wants to feel limited in process and often lets the work choose the way it will be expressed.
For her Senior BFA Show, Lambert was able to create an entire installation of her two-year physical and emotional journey. By re-creating an examination room complete with table and stirrups used during gynecology exams, Lambert replicated the feelings and emotions many women experience when they step into a doctor’s office.
“Many feel vulnerable and put on display in the exam room,” Lambert says. And then, in that state of vulnerability, they are asked questions about “periods, sex, pain, symptoms and other topics which are often uncomfortable to discuss.”
Because women’s health issues are often uncomfortable and taboo, many go through it alone. They don’t talk about their experiences with cysts, endometriosis, disease and infertility. And that is why this particular installation became Jessica’s passion and driving force to create art that matters.
“I needed healing from surgery, but also from the feelings that I had inside. I needed to talk about it,” Lambert says..
Working through the story of this installation and then putting it out there for all to see helped open the door to communication with others who had similar experiences. Those experiences have led to conversations and connections with other women, which have inspired Lambert to continue this path of healing through her artwork. Talking about our private matters removes a burden we sometimes unknowingly carry, but finding others who share these burdens reminds us we are not alone.
We all have scars, but for Lambert, that’s only part of the story.