The Great Court of the British Museum, £9.99
Juginder Lamba, Pod 1 - Phase II and Gestation, oak, sandstone and slate
Made in Shropshire
Juginder Lamba was born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1948. He moved to India with his family when aged ten, and they remained there for four years before moving to Britain in 1962. Here he obtained a degree in politics and philosophy from Lancaster University and a postgraduate diploma in education. In 1978 he was appointed as the first Town Artist by Lancaster City Council. He now lives and works in Shropshire.
Lamba loaned two of his sculptures for display in the Ground Force Africa Garden. Gestation is made of sandstone and slate, and Pod 1, part of a series, is a plant-like, organic form made of oak. The works address the timeless themes of birth, creation, the 'mother and child' and universal regeneration. Although Lamba's sculptures don't draw on any particular cultural tradition, they reflect his fused African, Indian and British background. His use of natural materials, particularly wood - a material he admired since his boyhood in Kenya - celebrates the beauty and power of nature.
For Lamba, the selection of the wood for his sculptures is an integral part of the process and he carefully investigates its past usage. For example, some of the pods in his series are made of bog oak, reclaimed after three thousand years in the peat bogs of Lancashire and Shropshire. Other works utilize recycled dock warehouse oak, tropical greenheart, ash, lime, elm, sycamore and yew. Lamba uses a variety of tools - chisels, mallets, crosscut saws - to form his sculptures. In order to achieve smooth curves he avoids using machines.
J. Mack (ed.), Africa: arts and cultures (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)