'No More Than Five' by Alma Berrow

26 May - 18 June 2022
LAMB is pleased to present No More Than Five, Alma Berrow's first solo exhibition and her first presentation at the gallery.Alma Berrow's works irreverently pull the viewer into a moment frozen in time, where the players are absent but have left clues that indicate distinct personalities, anxieties and ethos. Each of the eight backgammon sets is accompanied by a collection of elements which further reveal such identities, creating multiple self-contained universes of play. Cathartic yet lighthearted, the works also leave us to re-consider the ways in which we choose to have fun might say much about who we are.
The works seek to evoke, through autobiographical references, a set of memories that most can loosely relate with. Alma narrates here, these stories in her own words. "I was first introduced to backgammon at the age of 16. I would sit and play for hours drinking tea and tallying losses and wins. Since then, it continued to play a large role in my life, through heartbreak and heart make, early mornings and evenings tallied away. A play this show hopes to extend to you. A game of chance, a game of skill, a game to be enjoyed by all, both novices and pros. The idea of art sitting on a plinth or under a Perspex box has always felt a little foreign to me and with this show she hopes to bridge that gap. Inviting clients or simply lovers of the game to join us for two days of competitive play during the show, with a gold cup for the winner (be that it may be an ashtray, what better way to celebrate this communal show than a communal ashtray). 
Home Grown: Having spent the majority of my childhood in Dorset, this piece is very much a nostalgic ode to that. Spending lockdown where I first started making ceramics, sewing the garden, playing with my two sisters and spending days on the beach. Peas in the pod sidling element in my mind.
Heartbreak Hotel: This work speaks to a momentous and most probably positive start to the year for me. I found myself living with a friend nicknamed 'heartbreak hotel' (trip advisor 5 star review). We spent time smoking way too many cigarettes, sipping wine and finding meaning in every song lyric, palm reading or silly cracker.Humble Beginnings: I was first properly introduced to backgammon by a friend when I was 16. We used to spend hours sitting in his gardens drinking tea, eating hobnobs and smoking cigarettes.
Everything I Hate About You: All in the title. When making this piece I wanted to include all the crass cliches that people live out, all in the pretense of riches and glory. All the money zero style, love to hate, hate to love.
Forget Me Not: A life well lived and a scene I hope to play out in many years to come.
A Good Trip: The dealer's card, the coke riddled fidgety players, numbers gifted the night before unconsciously torn up in the fidget. A simple scene played out at 6am by one too many on a night too many.
SLAA: Sex And Love Addicts Anonymous. I intended to create a scene of filth and flirt, fuelled by Martinis as all good nights are. There's always tomorrow to be sensible.
Light My Fire: Matches are conversation starters. When asking for a light, a new interaction begins, often like a game. This board speaks to this broad idea of play both in the literal sense, with crosswords and tic-tac-toe, but also in the way of seduction, as suggests the fiery redhead painted on the matchbox."