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New solo exhibition by Ingrid Pollard explores secret histories of Devon

Posted on 19 Jul 2022

Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) and talking on corners present Ingrid Pollard: Three Drops of Blood, a new solo exhibition by Ingrid Pollard, 2022 Turner Prize nominee.

Commissioned by talking on cornersTHG’s new exhibition illustrates the intimacy, care, nuance and technical skill of Pollard’s extensive practice as one of Britain’s leading contemporary artists. This is a very rare opportunity to experience Pollard’s work in the intimate context of the Georgian gallery at THG, once home to the artist Thelma Hulbert.

This new body of work will feature photography, print, mixed media, installation, text and found objects. Together, this collection of new artwork invites us to consider the complex affects and relationships of the historical importation and travel of plants and people, asking us to unpack the resulting resonances on place and power. Folklore and tradition also come to the fore.

Ingrid Pollard is well known for exploring heritage and notions of the romantic idyll within the English landscape, questioning social constructs such as Britishness, race, sexuality and identity; histories and experiences that have been obscured from ‘official’ narratives; and examining our relationship with the natural world and cycles of life.

The new works have been created in response to her research in the UK including Devon. Pollard honed in on botanical gardens and local lace-making including the rich lace heritage of Honiton, where THG is based, as well as the unique historical collections of books at the Devon and Exeter Institution. Drawing out her interests in classification, knowledge, leisure, trade and money, these themes can be unfolded far beyond Devon, into conversations spanning generations and geographies.

Pollard’s contributions to art during her career have broken new ground and forged pathways for younger generations, shaping Britain’s understanding and histories of art, society and culture.

THG will deliver a varied and exciting programme of coordinating learning and outreach activities partnering with independent creative practitioners. Highlights include photography workshops for schools with artist Nicky Thompson, family workshops with Monica Shanta Brown, as well as adult workshops creating postcards with artist Michelle Moinzadeh and a creative writing workshop with Louisa Adjoa Parker.

THG’s Creative Cabin will be out and about to support community groups. Devon Recovery Learning Community will create ‘ghost boats’ with renowned boat builder and story teller Gail McGarva and Laurel Coxon will lead workshops in using ferns to create cyanotype lampshades for ROC Creative and Honiton Carers Support Group.

Dr Ella S. Mills from talking on corners commented, “It is a real honour to have Ingrid Pollard exhibiting so many new works as a result of this commission in Devon, complementing her overlapping major solo show at Turner Contemporary and the Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Liverpool. To see this new work in conversation with her existing extensive practice is a rare opportunity. ‘Three Drops of Blood’ is a beautiful, careful, rich and deeply layered collection of work showcasing one of Britain’s leading contemporary artists with her renowned thoughtful imagination and skill.”

The exhibition is part of a wider project in Devon produced by Ella S. Mills of experimental curatorial practice, talking on corners, focused on the work of Pollard with a varied programme of activity. Project partners include the Devon and Exeter Institution, the Department of Arts & Culture at the University of Exeter, Natural England and Libraries Unlimited.

In addition to the partners and funding from Arts Council England, the project is generously supported by the University of Exeter’s Geography Department, the Association for Art History, the Paul Mellon CentreLewisDavey, and Kaleider.

I was sitting 6000 or so feet up on a clearing we had made on the side of a foothill in the Himalaya. Only in the Himalaya would such a height be called a foothill. Everywhere else this height is a mountain. But from where we sat, we were at the bottom – all we could see was others rising above us, from every direction a higher horizon‘.
Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalaya, Jamaica Kincaid, 2020

Ingrid Pollard has selected this quote to introduce the exhibition at THG. It is a reflection of writer and contemporary traveller, Jamaica Kincaid, whose language sits in high contrast to that of English imperialist explorers. A contrast which permeates the new exhibition at THG.

Councillor Nick Hookway, East Devon District Council Portfolio Holder Tourism, Leisure, Sport and Culture said, “We are thrilled to welcome Ingrid Pollard to THG and look forward to presenting her new body of work based on her research in the county. We also congratulate her on the 2022 Turner Prize nomination and wish her every success at the ceremony in December.”

To coincide with the exhibition, Honiton Library will be displaying a selection of books relating to the artist’s work and her practice. The library will also host a drop-in family-friendly collage workshop, led by Monica Shanta Brown, on Saturday 27th August. The workshop is free, no need to book, and will take place from 10am – 1pm. Further details can be found on the Evolve website.

Ingrid Pollard: Three Drops of Blood (Saturday 6th August – Saturday 29th October 2022)
Open Wednesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm, Tuesdays for private viewings and visiting groups, contact THG – 01404 45006 for more details.

  • 20th August: Music from international, award-winning folk singer and Paul Hamlyn recipient, Kate Young
  • 24th September: Artist and curator talk: Ingrid Pollard and Dr Ella S. Mills in conversation
  • 29th October:Talk with Liz Wells, Emeritus Professor, School of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Plymouth
  • October: Creative Writing Workshop with Louisa Adjoa Parker

For more details, see

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