Ingrid Pollard is an artist and photographer who uses portraiture and traditional landscape imagery to explore social constructs such as Britishness and racial difference. She was born in Georgetown, Guyana in 1953 and moved to England when she was four years old.
Ingrid became interested in photography when she took her father’s box camera on a camping trip. Some of her first photographs were of the sewage works and wood yards along the Lee Valley Canal, taken as part of an O-Level geography project. Ingrid defines her work as ‘a social practice concerned with representation, history and landscape with reference to race, difference and the materiality of lens based media. Her work is included in numerous collections including the UK Arts Council and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Ingrid has played an important role in photography since the early 1980s, documenting black people’s creativity and presence in Britain. She became known for her photographic series questioning social constructs such as Britishness and racial difference. In her series “Pastoral Interludes” she posed her black subjects in typical rural English countryside in order to challenge the idea of black British people as urbanites, and question ideas of identity and ownership. Ingrid highlights feelings of alienation often experienced by her subjects through her photographs captions, with titles like “…feeling I don’t belong. Walks through leafy glades with a baseball bat by my side…” portraying a sense of otherness she has stated herself as feeling in predominantly white districts.
Coming from a community arts background, Ingrid has also documented the work of actors, dancers, writers and theatre companies. She has been involved in education and research since 1990, working with alternative processes, photo based video, print-making and installation. Ingrid was part of a constituency of British artists who championed black creative practice, showcasing her work in group exhibitions such as The Thin Black Line at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1985), D-Max (1987) and Self-Evident (1995), both at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. She was also part of significant collaborative ventures between black British photographers, including Polareyes, D-Max and the Association of Black Photographers (now Autograph ABP), of which she was a founding member. She is also is a founder member of the Black Environmental Network (BEN).
Many of Ingrid’s projects are published in the Autograph ABP monograph Ingrid Pollard: Postcards Home (2004). In 2007, Pollard was awarded the Leverhulme Fellowship Award. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and received her doctorate-by-publication from the University of Westminster in 2016. Her work is represented in the collections of Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Cartwright Hall, Bradford, and Arts Council England. Her work uses portraiture photography and traditional landscape imagery to explore social constructs such as Britishness or racial difference.
Ingrid studied Film and Video at the London College of Printing, an MA in Photographic Studies at the University of Derby, and a PhD at Westminster University. She has exhibited widely in Europe and America, including Tate Britain, Victoria and Albert Museum, NGBK (Berlin), Caribbean Cultural Centre (New York) and Camerawork (San Francisco).
Ingrid currently lives and works in London. To learn more about Ingrid and her work visit www.ingridpollard.com