OUR WATERS WILL RISE
Our Waters Will Rise consists of a giant, red-tailed hawk holding a snake—a pairing used in many cultures to symbolize conflict and opposition. It also invokes the Lakota people’s prophecy that a black snake will destroy the earth. Below, a small map traces the proposed routes of the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines through Virginia. Planned to span more than 900 miles from West Virginia to North Carolina, the pipelines will cross mountainscapes and vital waterways, linking life-giving and potentially life-threatening forces. This installation reflects Lily Lamberta and All The Saints Theater Company’s ongoing resistance to these and other proposed pipelines. The title, Our Waters Will Rise, has the sound of an ancient omen and describes a seemingly inevitable outcome of human impact on the world.
This installation is an extension of Lily Lamberta and All The Saints Theater Company’s inclusive and collaborative platform for art and theater. They use masks and large-scale papier-mâché puppets produced with recycled and accessible materials to advocate for social equity, environmental justice, and nonviolence.
Our Waters Will Rise, 2018. Mixed-media installation including papier-mâché, fabric, sequins, paint, and cardboard. Courtesy of the artist and collaborators
Abby Moore Café
“The times are always political, and art and theater are the most ancient ways to poke fun, reveal, and maintain interest in such topics.” —Lily Lamberta
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AS AN ARTIST?
Using my art as a form of protest against violence, racism, and inequality in the form of moving sculpture in the streets motivates me.
Nature, childhood grace, animals, children, lost and excited adults, beautiful landscapes, higher quality of life for all, the sky, herbs, the body, mountains, rivers, trees, protests, history, ancestral guidance, equality, and my own children, life experience, and probably, through no control of my own, my dreams.
DO YOU BELIEVE ART HAS SOCIALLY TRANSFORMATIVE POWER?
Yes, I do believe art has socially transformative power because it is digestible. Art takes time to shift and soak deeply into ones consciousness. Shapes, colors, references to nature, life and death, are all subjective and relatable to humanity.
The power of image and music is the most universal language provoking unity, discussion, argument, all of which leads to the power of thinking and rethinking. Art is active, it is theater. It is all political. Art gives people forums to be inspired to let loose, or tighten up and get active. It is always changing, always motivating.
Art is collective because it is universal, ancient, and written in every language. And being a collective is pro-humanity and anti-individuality which is capitalism.
Lamberta: Born 1981, Richmond, Virginia: Lives in Richmond, Virginia
All The Saints Theater Company, Richmond, Virginia Est. 2006.
All The Saints Theater Company’s recurring members include: Julie Elkins, Meghan Lamberta, William Edwards, Sid Warters, Ali Warters, Marcus Fioravante, Parker Galore, Mike Dulin, Jose Galvez
Lamberta creates puppets from found objects, recycled materials, and cardboard boxes, resulting in inexpensive and accessible works capable of telling powerful stories through theatrical performances.
Select programs include: The Bread and Puppet Theater in Vermont, Dah Theatre in Serbia, The John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. Select solo exhibitions: All The Saints Theater Company’s 10-year Retrospective at Gallery 5 in Richmond, Virginia (2015); Metro Gallery Richmond, Virginia (2009); and TEDXRVA (2014). Select Parades: Richmond’s Halloween Parade (2006—2017); Richmond’s May Day (2008—2015); Women’s March (2017) Inauguration Day (2017); Street Art Festival (2016); 69th National Folk Fest (2007). Select original productions: A Creation Story, told by the Dandelion (2016); Joan of Arc, Ruler of the Bottom of the Ocean (scene from Illuminations’ Oceanic 2016); End of the World Tableau Circus (2012); and Ordinary Royal Happiness Circus (2009-2011). Awards include: Heather Henson’s Ibex Puppetry Puppet Slam (2008—2014).
Lily Lamberta + ATSTC: Oregon Hill Halloween Parade
Lily Lamberta and All The Saints Theater Company (ATSTC) is an inclusive and collaborative platform for art and theater based in Richmond, Virginia that focuses on mask making and large-scale paper mache puppets produced from recycled and accessible materials that advocate for social equity, environmental justice, nonviolence, and community healing. Lamberta works with communities in order to produce and activate puppets as a form of modern day storytelling. Connecting art and activism, ATSTC creates vivid dreamscapes through parades and theater productions about pressing contemporary issues melding societal concerns with ancient folklore tradition.
A Funeral March for the Confederacy, 2017
A Funeral March for the Confederacy is a response to both Richmond’s historical legacy as the seat of the Confederacy and recent debates surrounding Confederate monuments around the nation. The artist describes the parade as a procession which will “invite collective healing with a celebration of our city and the need for resistance to present day socio-political injustices.” Puppets were produced and processed by volunteers from around the city.