I remember being intrigued when I saw an image from Allyson Anne Lamb’s Cattelize in the Lenscratch Night exhibition last fall and I was happy to a find submission from her in my inbox recently. Something I’m attracted to but don’t see very often is the presence of this prism-, rainbow-like light that adds a psychedelic, spiritual, or magical feel to otherwise ordinary photographs (see The Portrait Machine). I also appreciate that Lamb’s pictures focus on an animal that I think many audiences see as purely livestock or a food animal, but show that animal in a very atypical light. It’s refreshing to see that these are beautiful, unique animals indeed.

I couldn’t choose just one of her statements to share; I think both offer something so interesting to the work.

From Beefcakes: In my second series of cattle photographs, Beefcakes, I choose to photograph the cow known in Hindu art as “The Holy Cow.” Brahman were cherished for their gifts, and valued as spiritual creatures. With these photographs, I wanted to re-appropriate the image of Brahman in a contemporary tribute to animal beauty and to the essence of the animal spirit. The photos possess a darkness, and an ability to excite and instill a kind of erotic strangeness. I chose erotic forms to be paired with animals so that I could utilize sexuality to suggest intimacy between species. Not to encourage bestiality but to suggest humans were intended to partner with nature and animals, instead of exclusively dominating them.

From Cattelize: Cattelize is a group of images of Belted Galloway cows, seemingly overcome by an alien invasion, psychedelic encounter, or magic spell. My primary focus has been on cattle because of the strong barrier cultural identity has made for cattle as food animals. The images are glowing and the animals are endowed with an unnerving presence. I wanted to relate these cows to the alien invasion stories, and Terence McKenna’s theory that the religious reverence for cattle came from the consumption of psychedelic mushrooms which are found in cattle dung.

Visit artist's site: annelamb.com