Ingrid Pollard migrated from Guyana to London in 1956 and now lives in rural Northumberland. This ambitious new exhibition, for which Pollard has been nominated for the 2022 Turner Prize, is rooted in portraiture and landscape, being concerned with experiences of racism, representation, nationhood and belonging.
In his catalogue essay, historian and cultural theorist Paul Gilroy summarises Pollard’s approach: ‘Her loving recuperation of England’s landscapes and its insides – wallpapers and curtains, tools and teacups – shows the country’s cultural fibres being unpicked and thoughtfully recycled. This body of work speaks not for hybrids, but for remixes’. Pollard’s multi-media remixing reveals stories and histories that British colonialisation represses.
The first room of ‘Carbon Slowly Turning’ opens with water. A flotilla of small ceramic boats and a dual-screen video of a rowing session are accompanied by two photographic series that explore the English coast from differing angles. Pollard’s relation to Hastings is considered in ‘Seaside Series’ (1989), a group of self-portraits framed with fragments of text and typical seaside souvenirs. Views on Sunderland Point, Lancashire, are addressed in ‘The Boy Who Watches Ships Go By’ (2002) through both the artist’s experiences and a historic account of the death of ‘Sambo’, an enslaved Black boy who died at sea and was buried on arrival …
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Commissioned and published by Photomonitor, 2022. Exhibition at MK Gallery, 12 March – 29 May 2022.