Camden Close Up: Ingird Pollard

Image: Pastoral interlude 1988. (cropped)

Love Camden loves its local talent. We aim to celebrate everything cultural in the borough, from Hampstead to Kilburn, from the British Library to that little café around the corner - we are always out to show what Camden has to offer. As part of this we launched our Camden Close-Up series: interviews with artists, thinkers, entrepreneurs and downright interesting figures that live, work or are inspired by the borough.

This Month we interviewed Ingird Pollard. Her piece will be at Swiss Cottage Library as part of Camden VOX. Taking the Women’s Suffrage movement as a point of departure, Camden VOX has commissioned four women artists to produce a series of posters that explore ideas of Equality, Place, Power and Identity. Featuring works by Sutapa Biswas, Claudette Johnson, Ingrid Pollard and Hannah Collins and exhibited in the atrium at Swiss Cottage Library from June 2018 to January 2019.

  1. What would you would do if you weren’t doing this? What would your parallel life look like?

Difficult to know, I did all sorts of jobs when I left school; zoo worker, telephone operator, gardener. None of which I could contemplate doing for the next 20 years. But I was always doing visual work (drawing, ceramics, photography) in my ‘spare time’. I had no idea I could do any of these things for a living. But I see now this was where I was honing my skills and ‘getting my eye in'. I studied film & video later in life at BA, with the vague idea I might get in to that.

  1. What do you think is most important: luck, chance, opportunity or hard-graft?

All of the above, plus being friendly, open and responsive. You make your own luck if you out there working and meeting people and opportunities arise if you take a chance.

  1. What has been your most career defining moment to date and why?

I think we can get defined by others through a particular piece of work. This can sometimes be quite limiting if this work is constantly quoted, making it, and you, into a history object. It seems to come from lazy thinking and a desire for familiarity. But keep plugging way at it and that can change as a newer audience engage with older and new works.

  1. What are you most proud of and what are you least proud of……and why?

I try to not be ‘prideful’, got to take it all in my stride. The compliments and the digs come and go. I take pleasure in my work and that I able to keep producing meaningful work that resonates with an audience.

  1. Tell us a secret

If I told you that, then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore. But a well known secret is that I was named after film star Ingrid Bergman.

About the artist
Ingrid Pollard has played an important role photography since the early 1980's, documenting black people’s creativity and presence in Britain. Pollard became known for her photographic series questioning social constructs such as Britishness and racial difference. Trained in film and photography but 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 and her has been taken up in national collections in the UK and internationally. Recent work has include a reexamination of UK and international archives to decolonise ethnographic and state sponsored imagery of the former colonised countries.

Ingrid studied Film and Video at the London College of Printing. She has an MA in Photographic Studies from the University of Derby and a PhD from Westminster University.

Ingrid has exhibited widely in Europe and America, including at Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), NGBK (Berlin), Caribbean Cultural Centre (New York) and Camerawork (San Francisco).