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Accidental Archaeology #1

Accidental Archaeology #1 is the first in a series of books containing the photography of Australian artist, Joel Lambeth. The book is a collection of 68 full page colour photographs taken of found collages from the streets of Sydney and Melbourne over a period of 3 years between 2006 and 2009.

The overlapping textures created by bill posters and other advertising material that have been exposed to time and the elements create complex and strangely beautiful compositions that cannot be dismissed as merely examples of urban decay.

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Prints available from RedBubble.com

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Artist’s Statement

When he was a child, the first words that Joel Lambeth ever spoke were Mum, Dad, and then Coke. The images that have been produced in film, television, magazines and other forms of advertising mass media in the later part of the 20th century are not only his artistic tradition, but also his cultural heritage.

His collage works sample images from the maelstrom of popular culture, remixing them and recontextualising them in order to infuse them with personal meaning and describe intimate narratives.

He has taken this bombardment of advertising ballyhoo and blended it with inspiration derived from the photomontage of Russian Constructivism and German Dada, to create work that is on one hand an autobiographical chronicle of his experiences, but that also serves as social commentary and cultural observation.


Joel was born and raised in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, and showed an early interest in various forms of creative expression. After vaguely dabbling with music for a short period of time, he enrolled at the University of Western Sydney and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts, majoring in painting and 2-dimensional studies. Although the work that he produced throughout this period was well received, it wasn’t until some years later when he began working in collage that Joel began to feel true passion and belief in the work that he was producing.

His commitment was solidified when living in Melbourne and occupying a communal studio space in Collingwood. It was during this time he began exhibiting regularly in group shows not only in Australia, but also in New Zealand and the United States, including an invitation to exhibit in the International Collage Exhibition at Kansas State University.

He regularly produces artwork for a weekly music showcase (called “Collage”) at the Esplanade Hotel in Melbourne, and his work has recently appeared in a number of online publications including Blanket Magazine, No Tears, and Platform 58.

Other Links:
Collage @ the Espy