Ingrid Pollard

Consider the Dark and the Light

Consider the Dark and the Light
Consider the Dark and the Light
Consider the Dark and the Light
Consider the Dark and the Light
Consider the Dark and the Light
Consider the Dark and the Light

Consider the Dark and the Light

Ingrid Pollard’s love of the countryside and the people who traverse it has resulted in a photographic career intersecting landscapes with portraitures. In Consider the Dark and the Light she continues to explore not only the narratives of people who interact with landscapes, but also narratives of the landscape itself. What is the land used for? Who works the land? Who owns the land?

Like a camera obscura Pollard’s time spent at the Château de Sacy has generated reflections and inversions of experience, representation and vision. Inspired by the pastoral scenes depicted in the 18th century French Toile de Jouy wallpaper Pollard presents us with a modern day wallpaper, where the fishing rods become chainsaws. She reflects the almost fairytale like classical imagery of the Toile de Jouy and presents us with the realities of country life and toil. Like a Claude lens she isolates salient features in a landscape, abstracting the subject from its surroundings.

The formal portraits of the garden volunteers at the Château evoke the lived realities in the pastoral scenes of the Toile de Jouy. The formality of the volunteers’ poses reflects the formal and wild nature of the land on which they work.

The intimate working relationship between the camera obscura and Pollard is mirrored in the intimacy of the portrait subjects, and their connection to the land on which they work. Breaking down the pastoral scene Pollard focuses in on stories of the workers and makes them real. This is highlighted in the wallpaper where Pollard brings us closer to the people, the stories and the land.

The movement captured in the camera obscura tree images resonates with the repeated motifs of the wallpaper; neither has a focal point for the eye to rest on. These images remind us of the sometimes cyclical relationship between people and land, with recurrent patterns of ownership, labour, purpose and renewal.

Questions around ownership of land can be expanded to include ownership of peoples, and the commerce, economic development, and European involvement in the Atlantic slave trade and East India Company. Both France and Britain have a history of sugar and cotton trade alongside thriving empires and industrial revolutions. Pollard’s wallpaper highlights the fabrication of the pastoral scenes that obscure the toil and labour of the real lives of the 18th and 19th centuries – the period from which both the Toile de Jouy and the camera obscura originate.

The light at the Château has been described by Pollard as strong, and blazing. The light that feeds the gardens and the land also illuminates the workers. In a vast empty loft a figure stands both in and out of the light. Her leg ever so slightly bent and her arm a little curved, it is as if she is on the verge of motion. Just leaving, or just arriving? Her body is in full sunlight; the light that spills casts a sharp rectangle on the floor. Standing just outside this rectangle, she is neither in full light, or full shadow.

Ella Mills

Previous Work

Image from camera obscura

Image from camera obscura

Video still made inside from camera obscura

Video still made inside a camera obscura

Images from hand-held camera obscura

Images from hand-held camera obscura

Ingrid Pollard Lives and works in London. Web: Solo Exhibitions (selected)

Regarding the Frame

, Highgreen, Northumberland

In Residence: Part III

, Parfitt Gallery, Croydon College, London

A Field of Sheep

, Chenderit School/Visual Arts College, Oxfordshire

Belonging in Britain

, National Museum, Bridgetown, Barbados

Near & Far

, Sunderland Glass Centre, Sunderland

Spectre of the Black Boy

, Kingsway Gallery, Goldsmith College, London

Landscape Trauma 2

, Bath University, Bath & Wall Space Gallery, LaDanza Studio, London

Working images

, London South Bank University, London

Paper boats and Canvas

, Project Row Houses, Houston, Texas, USA

Points of View

, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Sussex

Near and Far

, Kendal Museum, Cumbria & touring

Selective Yield

, Wysing Arts Gallery, Cambridge

Hidden Histories, Heritage Stories

, 3 Mills Island, London & University of Central Lancashire Group Exhibitions (selected)

Walk On

, Sunderland Arts Centre & touring


, St .. Church Sunderland Photo festival

Seeing Things Differently

, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee

Recording Britain

, Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Thin Black Lines

, Tate Britain, London

Vous tes ici

, Fondation Clément, Martinique

Belonging in Britain

, Parliament Building, Barbados


, Museum of London Docklands, London (curator/artist)

TradeWinds 2007

, Museum in Docklands, London (curator)

Garden of Eden – The Garden in Art

, Kunsthalle in Emden, Germany

How to improve the World

, Hayward Gallery, London

Migratory Aesthetics

, Leeds University, Leeds

Liminal Britain

, University of North Texas Art Gallery, Texas, USA

Down the Garden Path

, Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA

Tony Ray-Jones

, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, Netherlands

The Politics of Place

, Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden & touring to Finland


, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

Where are We?

, Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Landscape Trauma

, The Gallery, Southwark Park, London & Leeds Metropolitan Museum Publications

Hidden in a Public Place

, IMP Press, London - monograph

Postcards Home

, Chris Boot Publishers, London - monograph


, Autograph publications

Central South North

, Lee Valley Park - limited edition artist's book Awards
Leverhulme - Individual Artist’s Award Arts Council England - Artist’s Award
Arts Council England - Artist’s award
(Nominated) Royal Photographic Society - John Kobal First Book Award
AHRC Fellowship in Creative & Performing Arts Broadcasts
The Culture Show, Channel 4, London
Good Morning Barbados, Barbados TV
The Culture Show, Channel 4, London
Pacifica Radio, Houston, Texas, USA Residencies
Visual Arts in Rural Communities, Northumberland
Fine Art Department, Croydon College, London
Chenderit School, Visual Arts Centre, Oxfordshire
Project Row Houses, Houston-Fotofest, Houston, Texas, USA
Farne Islands, Northumberland
Wysing Arts, Cambridge
Photography Residency, LightWorks, Syracuse, New York, USA
Beacon Arts Centre/Whitehaven, Cumbria Education
Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, London South Bank University
MA Photographic Studies, Derby University
BA Hons Film & Video, London College of Printing