Asymptotic – not falling together

Ingrid Pollard (1953 - )

digital print on stretched synthetic canvas

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    Asymptotic – not falling together, a large-scale photograph by Ingrid Pollard, presents the undulating forms of a geological micro-formation in an image that verges ambiguously between micro and macro. Are these complex tracts of land viewed aerially? Or are they the interior curves of a body, a ‘landscape’ that is otherwise hidden? There is a velvety, almost metallic, appearance to the forms that suggest an alchemical process. 

    Pollard explores the scientific and illusionary potential of photography and lens-based media; practices whose ideas and principles are rooted in chemistry and physics. This interest is suggested by the title of this work. ‘Asymptotic’ is a term used to describe a line that gets closer and closer to a curve as the distance gets closer to infinity. Referencing this concept, Pollard adds to the visual intrigue of the photograph, suggesting ideas around space and relationships. 

    An inherent interest in the English landscape and its historical links with Africa and the Caribbean, is central to Pollard’s practice. Her interest in the undocumented and hidden layers of history is echoed in her exploration and use of 19th century photographic techniques. She defines her work as ‘a social practice concerned with representation, history and landscape with reference to race, difference and the materiality of lens-based media’, often questioning social constructs such as Britishness, or the notion of home and belonging. 

    Asymptotic – not falling together (and Parabiosis – solid generated by rotation, GAC 18844) was commissioned for Landscape Trauma in the Age of Scopophilia, a group exhibition organised by Autograph held at Cafe Gallery Projects, Southwark Park, London in 2001, and which toured to Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery later that year. 

  • About the artist
    Ingrid Pollard was born in Georgetown, Guyana, and moved to England when she was four. A graduate of the London College of Printing and Derby University, she has developed a practice in lens-based media that explores issues of race, representation and history. In the 1980s, she was part of a community of British artists who championed Black creative practice, showcasing her work in group exhibitions such as 'The Thin Black Line' at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1985), 'D-Max' (1987) and 'Self-Evident' (1995), both at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. Pollard was awarded the 2019 BALTIC Artists’ Award and has exhibited her work widely. Her work is represented in many public collections including Tate, the Arts Council Collection and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
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  • Details
    Asymptotic – not falling together
    digital print on stretched synthetic canvas
    height: 310 cm; width: 252 cm
    Purchased from the artist, with funds raised from print sales from the Robson Orr TenTen Award, a GAC/Outset Annual Commission, 2020
    The artist; from whom purchased by UK Government Art Collection via Outset, 3 February 2020
    GAC number