Now Featuring Bruce Ingram

The act of combination is at the heart of artist Bruce Ingram’s work. His compositions are elegant and hold a timeless sense of stillness and balance, but they form a larger chain of connection across his entire practice. As elements are added, removed, recycled and translated, a gesture of lightness in one piece becomes the dark center of the next.

To view Bruce’s print collection, go here.

Exclusive Print 1

Exclusive Print 1

Exclusive Print 2

Exclusive Print 2

Exclusive Print 3

Exclusive Print 3

Exclusive Print 4

Exclusive Print 4

Exclusive Print 5

Exclusive Print 5

Exclusive Print 6

Exclusive Print 6

MH: I am enjoying the way your work flips photographic space, painted space and physical space around constantly.  It’s really disorienting and exciting! I would not, in fact, even differentiate the pictorial spaces of photo and painting/drawing for most people, but it actually seems to be highlighted in your work.  How do you approach all these shifting zones?

BI: Working in my studio, I am constantly moving my attention between the floor, wall and desk. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional spaces collide through an overlap of working processes. I have always been interested in including the two-dimensional plane or photographic image as part of constructed and three-dimensional context. I enjoy how collaged photographic images can substitute surfaces and objects in sculptural works.

Bruce Ingram 03

MH: Your sculptures feel like a type of memento mori; I think this feeling comes from their precarious arrangements, and your use of casts of fruits and veggies.  I know the produce is actually plaster, but it’s hard not to expect it to rot and slump and cause everything to topple. Are you considering this as content or are you thinking about something else altogether?

BI: The series of sculptures Arrangements are my own versions of a still life. The artworks are tabletop based and are small and intimate scale.  I am interested in exploring classical themes of sculpture such as weight, balance and composition. The starting point of a new work is determined by material and decisions of placement and attachment are made through the process of combining disparate materials.  I am always looking for new objects that have a potential to take on a new role when combined and arranged in this manner.

Bruce Ingram - Crystanthium

The inclusion of vegetables and fruit came through an appreciation of form and shape. I was also interested in the displays of produce in the local shop: piles of exotic color, ordered and stacked. I wanted the sculptures to have a similar precarious state or balance. The plaster casting also preserves a moment and prolongs the life of nature, the arrangement of objects becoming a frozen moment of a manifestation of activity.


MH: I’ve read that you’re interested in the ikebana tradition.  Can you talk about that, in the way you deploy reproduction and doubling in your work?

BI: I have always been fascinated by an aesthetic found in Japanese and Asian art. My recent sculptures are heavily inspired upon the Japanese art form of flower arrangement, ikebana. I researched the art form in Japan a few years ago and have always been attracted to the elegant appreciation of form and composition; the styles of flower arrangement are very sculptural, blending elements of the natural and organic with the manmade and synthetic. I am interested in the attention to detail and the weight and energy placed upon attachments and fastening.


The works include a mixture of what is hanging around the studio and left over form past projects, I pick up stuff from the street or sometimes shop for new things that have an exciting pattern or form.


Before making the sculptures, I made a set of collages on photocopied pictures from Ikebana textbooks. Working on top of the image, I have applied my own composition through cut out, pinned and arranged painted brushstrokes. These works led to the sculptural works that followed the same idea of structure and arrangement.

MH: Even though your recent work is really cohesive, so many parts go into in, from sculptural elements to photographic ones. What’s your studio practice itself like?

BI: My studio practice is based upon experimentation in combining materials; I try not to predict outcomes or having set ideas of what a work should be. I like to go with the flow in the studio, often combining pieces of artworks to make something new.


Recently, deconstruction has been an opportunity for outcome. The studio is always full of discarded off cuts of materials and trimmings of paper. These outtakes are often pulled back into a new work. I like the element of history from another work, entering into the new life of another. I really like deconstructing, editing or literally smashing a piece to create a new form.

MH: What are you working on next? Or what would you like to work on but are still figuring out how to tackle?

BI: I have been experimenting with an installation that I started working on at the beginning of the year; I have decided to revisit it, as the work is not resolved. The artwork is floor based and takes a looser approach to the theme of the arrangement of images and forms. I have also started working with colors found in magazine pages, mostly selecting areas of backgrounds in photographs. Colors found in photography are appealing, as they are so varied and feel unique, I am selecting textures, surfaces and out of focus areas. Working with these images fits in with my interest in exploring found imagery and objects. The prints for LPP are the start of my exploration of this subject matter.


MH: Besides ikebana, what other art movements or artists have been influential on your work?  

BI: Over the last few years, I have enjoyed more abstract work and have been very inspired by the St.Ives School (Nicolson, Hepworth and Peter Landon).

Earlier on in the year, there was a Kurt Schwitters retrospective at the Tate Britain, which was amazing. I have been thinking about making ceramics recently and love the works of Ruby Neri and Sterling Ruby. I am also enjoying looking at artists Georg Baselitz and Franz West; I find the rawness and evidence of process and materials inspiring.

More contemporary artists I like include Daniel Gordan, Geoffrey Farmer, Oscar Murillo, Sara Barker and Ida Ekbald.


MH: I like the idea of you moving dynamically in the studio, utilizing the wall and floor as surfaces for flat work, as well as working in three dimensions.  What’s your studio practice and routine itself like?  Is it very regular or catch-as-catch-can, contemplative or frenetic?

BI: Lately, I have no routine in the studio! There are lots of ideas kicking around, collages scattered over any flat surface, objects and images placed on the floor. I hate sticking collages down as it’s tedious and you can never stick things exactly the way you placed them. On arrival at the studio, I look over what I was doing on the previous visit. Often I will make adjustments and move things around or swap over components of different works. Or I will take the best bits from a couple of works and make something better, or things just get discarded and end up in the bin, leaving the opportunity to start something new.



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