The rich environment of the studio provides both the reference and the raw material for the creation of abstract compositions that rely on chance juxtapositions and experimentation with outcome. I prefer to leave my creative process open to improvisation and spontaneity, often choosing to deconstruct and morph artworks to make more unexpected or pre-determined outcomes. The studio environment is a fertile ground, where off-cuts of materials and studio sweepings are often physically included in an artwork’s surface and construction. The eclectic mix of references add a purpose of place, history and narrative.
Disregarded off-cuts of wood, textiles and other cut-out shapes litter my studio floor, all drifting before being collected and incorporated into an artwork’s surface. The fluid nature of this studio process is central to the production of my work, with the process of collage and appropriation informing new outcomes and dialogues. Individual artworks drift between wall and floor and are physically broken down and amalgamated into irregular forms. Canvases sometimes form the basis for sculptures, whilst found objects are embedded into a picture plane.
I often choose to reject the formal shape of the painting stretcher, creating artworks that bring to focus my working process which remains evident in the both form and surface. Through the use of layering I incorporate a diverse and rich palette of materials into a work’s surface. I use plaster as a substitute for paint, concealing various textiles, coloured sand and household materials. This results in a surface of colour and texture, exposing and revealing the work’s layered history.
This working approach is further employed in my ongoing exploration of paper, a medium that combines my interest in both drawing and sculpture. Works on paper are re-evaluated in this process, with rejected drawings finding a new value through the process of ripping and layering. I enjoy the immediacy of a hand held staple gun to fasten irregular shapes of paper together. This energetic process provides a surface to further explore drawing, mark making and painting and incorporates shadow and tone within the rich three-dimensional paper surface. Through cutting with scissors and painting on layers of paper, I build up and take away surfaces until I achieve a visual harmony in both form and composition. The cumulative nature of these works gives a feeling of impermanence, embracing the transient and often ephemeral qualities of their constituent parts
The intentional decisions I make to start an artwork always end up posing further problems to explore; often the negative shape or the throwaway component shifts my focus to new and unexpected outcomes. The process of making can be brutal with works constantly being re-assessed and physically deconstructed, merging and concealing, shifting and re-modelling. This process of re-evaluation becomes the motivation in seeking the next step, the possibility within a work is the desire to keep exploring.
Bruce Ingram (b.1981, Falmouth. UK) lives and works in Hastings, East Sussex. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2008. His work has been selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize; he has also been a finalist in the Dazed/ Converse Emerging Artist Award. Recent exhibitions include Duets Bell House Dulwich Village, London (2018) Broken Pictures No Format Gallery, London (2018). He recently curated a group exhibition Chrysalis at Wimbledon College of Arts, London