Ingrid Pollard’s work Pastoral Interlude No.4 and Pastoral Interlude No. 5 are currently included in the National Partners Programme exhibition My name is not Refugee at Firstsite, Colchester. Due to government guidelines, the gallery is closed to the public but the exhibition will be accessible to view online via a new 360˚ virtual walkthrough.
Ingird Pollard is a photographer, media artist and researcher. Born in Georgetown, Guyana, she grew up in London. Early in her career, she worked at a women’s screen printing collective and was part of a group of British artists who championed black creative practice. Since starting to work as an artist in the 1980s, Pollard has developed a social practice that investigates representation, history and landscape with reference to race, difference and the materiality of lens-based media work. She has an ongoing interest in the English landscape and coastline, and through her combination of photography and printmaking, she questions the hidden histories of the rural, its colonial relationship to Africa and the Carribean, as well as the notions of home and belonging.
In the series of photographs Pastoral Interlude, the artist reflects on her experience of being a black British woman in the English countryside. Britain has been traditionally represented by images of a picturesque rural scene: rolling green hills, sheep dotted across a valley or fields of golden wheat. In these idyllic scenes that offer a quiet and calm, natural repose, there is also the understanding that the British rural areas embody overwhelming whiteness.