New Commission

24 Feb - 22 April 2017


Commissioned by Autograph


Rivington Place



past exhibition

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To respond to the archive in Autograph's Making Jamaica exhibition, we invited contemporary artist Ingrid Pollard to apply her signature hand-tinting technique to five large-scale prints made from scans of the original postcards by Valentine & Sons.

This new commission, The Valentine Days, marks the 30th anniversary of Pollard’s seminal Pastoral Interludes, a series of five hand-tinted photographs that depict lone black figures in the rural English countryside, juxtaposing landscape, portraiture and text. These works are now on display in our Making Jamaica: Photography from the 1890s exhibition.

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"Looking at the images for many hours as I tinted them by hand, I felt caught in the aura of the photographs and identified with the people in them. The process of tinting brings a type of life to the images. I especially enjoyed inspecting the image for what I call the “escapees”, the mysterious faces looking out of the window, those positioned just on the edge of the frame slightly out of focus, the tiny figures in the distance looking back at the photographer, taking part in the moment in their own way

It reminded me of what scholar Laura Marks wrote about loving disappearing images, how one must “trust that the image is real in the first place to establish a link between the long ago object and the present day spectator”. The intricate, meditative work involved in the technique of tinting forms a historic link to my own earlier tinted works, bringing me closer to them." - Ingrid Pollard

what our visitors say

"Very moving and beautiful work"

About the artist

Ingrid Pollard was born in Georgetown, Guyana. In the 1980s she was part of a constituency 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.

Many of her projects are published in the Autograph ABP monograph 'Ingrid Pollard: Postcards Home' (2004). Steeped in an ambiguous heritage of Wordsworth and the Romantic Poets, her photographs explore the beauty of the English landscape and coastline, alongside the memories hidden within Britain's history and its relationship to Africa and the Caribbean. Her interest in the layers of history is echoed in the accomplished use of 19th century photographic techniques. Pollard defines her own 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.

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In 2007, Pollard was awarded the Leverhulme Fellowship Award. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and received her doctorate-by-publication from the University of Westminster in 2016. Her work is represented in the collections of Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Cartwright Hall, Bradford, and Arts Council England.


Making Jamaica: Photography from the 1890s

24 Feb - 24 April 2017


Ingrid Pollard discusses her practice

Video by the Royal Photographic Society

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Supported using public funding by Arts Council England


The archive images in Making Jamaica are exhibited courtesy of the Caribbean Photo Archive, a private collection based in New York and owned by Patrick Montgomery.

Banner images: Newly commissioned work by Ingrid Pollard, 2016. From the Caribbean Photo Archive. Page images, from left: 1)  Jamaica Boys [detail]. Brown & Dawson, c. 1890. Courtesy Caribbean Photo Archive. Newly commissioned work by Ingrid Pollard [detail[, 2016. From the Caribbean Photo Archive.