26 May 2024

From Princess Chelsea to Nan Goldin: Fast Favourites with Ebony Lamb

From Culture 101, 12:10 pm on 26 May 2024
Musician Ebony Lamb stands with her hands on her hips and wears a black dress

Ebony Lamb Photo: Frances Carter

Pōneke Wellington based Ebony Lamb has the distinction of having developed parallel acclaimed careers: as a singer-songwriter and as a photographer. 

Back cover author photo for Jake Arthur's Tarot. Image by Ebony Lamb, design by Todd Atticus.

Back cover Jake Arthur's Tarot. Image: Ebony Lamb, design: Todd Atticus. Photo: supplied

Formerly of the group Eb and Sparrow, Lamb’s 2023 debut self-titled solo album, produced by Bic Runga and Kody Nielson, won her a 2024 Taite Music Prize nomination. Coming up in July she tours as support on a big four centre tour with Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes.

Creating an intimate, woozy emotional reverie, Lamb’s beguiling country-inflected songs are winning her an increasing number of fans as a singular writing and singing talent.  

Ebony Lamb has also become one of Aotearoa’s most sought-after portrait photographers. She is known particularly for her author photographs, gracing the covers of some of our most well-known novels, ranging from Emily Perkins, Eleanor Catton and Catherine Chidgey to many up and coming talents. Last year Lamb got to combine both sides of her work, providing moody landscape photography and a soundtrack with Gram Antler for RNZ true crime podcast Mr Lyttle Meets Mr Big.

Princess Chelsea

Princess Chelsea Photo: Frances Carter

Ebony Lamb joins Mark Amery to play Culture 101’s 'Fast Favourites'.

Among them are fellow New Zealand portrait photographer Frances Carter and musician Princess Chelsea - who Carter has previously photographed. She also highlights the work of Pōneke Wellington sustainable makeup artist Amy McLennan. 

When it comes to wider photographic inspiration, Lamb also looks to the work of two key American figures since the 1970s,Nan Goldin and Sally Mann, known for their intimate approach to children and young people and, for Goldin, the gay subculture of New York.

Also on Ebony Lamb’s Fast Favourites list is desert rockers Tinariwen, “an inspiring and mind expanding experience” - who play Auckland and Wellington this coming week.