Ingrid Pollard

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Through her practice, Guyanese-born artist Ingrid Pollard addresses her feelings towards the rural countryside as a non-white British subject, articulating her profound sense of being an outsider to these spaces. In some of her projects, Pollard hand tints black-and-white prints. This strategy has a dual purpose: firstly, it is a play on the idea of ‘colour’ in terms of race; and secondly, the use of this antiquated process immediately refers to nostalgic, romanticised ideals of the British landscape.

In Miss Pollard’s Party (1993), Pollard parodies the tourist postcard, placing her own hand-tinted images on a template depicting ‘Wordsworth Heritage’.

In Pastoral Interlude (1987) Pollard juxtaposes photographs of figures in the landscape (some of which are herself) with more subversive captions, such as: “It’s as if the Black experience is only lived within an urban environment. I thought I liked the Lake District; where I wandered lonely as a Black face in a sea of white. A visit to the countryside is always accompanied by a feeling of unease; dread.”

Ingrid Pollard is unusual in that her practice addresses not only her sense of identity as a nonwhite British subject in the UK, but also her experience in relation to the countryside. What Pollard’s work also shows is that the concept of ‘environment’ in relation to the influence of a sense of place transcends geographical concerns alone. Whether a more deep-seated dichotomy exists between the interests of those from or living in the countryside and those in the towns is also a question that extends beyond UK borders.

Listen to Ingrid Pollard talking about her work and landscape

Source: Alexander p123

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