Steven Ingman’s paintings take as their inspiration the industrialised ruins that reside within our landscape. He has an interest in derelict or degraded spaces and the intrusion of nature into decayed urban settings. Ingman sees the ruin as the perfect embodiment of his long-term interest in the contrast between the natural and manmade. In addition, his work considers and attempts to address the often complex narratives that can be attributed to such scenes of ruination, decay and decline.
His work, drawing from both historical and contemporary ruin aesthetics, employs washes, drips and layering to address the complex temporal questions such landscapes bring. Through these processes he enables the viewer an insight into the construction of the painting, with gridded sections and compositional changes apparent. This reworking parallels the layering and ever-evolving transformation of his subject matter. His work creates imposing canvases and utilises the material reality of paint to convey the aesthetic decline of the ruin; whilst conversely placing the viewer within an ambiguous chronology, allowing the observer their own historical narrative.
Ingman demonstrates his love of structural form and he equally revels in both the construction and deconstruction of the composition. He instills his ruin with an air of dignified grandeur and the observer is dominated by their proximity. His paintings immerse the viewer within the architectural construction, with linear perspective achieved through his edifice with strong, formal lines that direct the eye over the canvas. There is a sense of transforming spaces, planes and structures, which cross between interior and exterior. Oil paint and pure turpentine bleed and run down the canvas surface, representing the physical demise of the ruin and yet presenting it in a state of metamorphosis and re-emergence.
Through both representation and abstraction, his work demonstrates the ruin as dynamic and fluid and allows portals into past, present and future. Ingman’s work invites the viewer to not only look at what has been but to also consider the possibilities of what is yet to come. His paintings move beyond the limits of ordinary visual representation, they become a powerful embodiment, which entwines the physicality of the ruin and a sense of immersion in the threads of alternative realms and narratives.
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