Are mini cheddars biscuits or crisps? An interview with Alex Ingram
Following Glasgow School Of Art then Central St Martins, Alex has performed and exhibited at numerous arts spaces, galleries and arts festivals around Europe including Whitechapel Gallery, St Petersburg Performance Festival, and EXPO
Alex Ingram is a matter artist - a poet, photographer, performance artist and sculptor - currently residing in East London. His publications include poetry White Works, I've done nothing wrong today, The Spaceman Cometh and Lull.
Influenced heavily by his surroundings he also enjoys space and sculpture, and admires Gabriel Orzco namely Orzco's poetic works. He is wary of sounding melancholic and is currently being inspired by Andrew Pidoux's poetry Year of the Lion, though talking to Alex I get a strong sense that his biggest inspiration is his nan Daisy who is present in some of him short films and stills, with references made to her in his poetry. She herself used to write poetry . She seems to light him up with her deep set values, after all, are mini cheddars biscuits or crisps? Alex has just been to visit Daisy in hospital where she is much better but has another burning issue.. the milk, and for that reason the family smuggles in her evaporated milk or My milk. He has a sense of warmth about him as he talks of her "She's been my rock, she's seen it all, she's always been there for me" He is talking about his own stays in hospital as a result of his mental health. Although Alex does not believe his work to be creative consequences of his mental health, he does believe that his art and his well being could be linked subconsciously.. "I have no idea which came first, art or mental health,how early can the signs of mental illness be seen and how do you separate it from your character?"
Alex's passion for art started as a result of mid eighties sexist school tuition. "In a drawing class the boys were told to draw a car and the girls were told to draw a dress. I finished the car before the rest of the class so I decided to draw the dress as well" and developed a love of fashion design and, as an avid X-Men comic collector, cartoon stenciling . Before this he wanted to be a lawyer.
In his adult art life, Alex is allured to the absence of a finished product - or nothingness - and the journey getting there - "Nothingness prompts and says get ready for something" inviting the blank canvas to be much as part the piece as is the finished product. This visual expedition is evident in his performance art and short films where we watch him complete a sequence from beginning to end, the beginning being the ingredient. This format is evident in the title of his blog The man Without A Reference.
Process plays a major part in Alex's work, as does his own presence, be he physically there or not.. "My work is the interaction between myself and my immediate surroundings". It's is the making of his work that becomes the subject matter, thus giving a sense of performing even when working alone.
"Sometimes I feel like I'm not in my own body, that I'm watching things as if in a dream. Art for me is a point of contact from this perspective which quite literally means I move things around. The idea of each work comes second to this act of contact with its meaning realised rather than implemented."
Alex would like to hope his poetry is being read by the individual, rather that listened to,he is interested in the physicality of thought as" poetry can be a sculpture read in ones mind."
To read more about Alex Ingram and see some of his work to date visit