Carbon Slowly Turning: Movement, Energy, Landscape (Conference)

Portrait of Ingrid Pollard by Emile Holba

Talks & Events

6 May 2022

On the occasion of the Ingrid Pollard: Carbon Slowly Turning exhibition, MK Gallery and the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art are collaborating on their third conference.

The conference is imagined as a conversation with the exhibition, using the exhibition as a point of departure. At times, Pollard’s work will be directly referenced and, at others, ideas and strands of dialogue will emerge and escape from it. We are interested in thinking about movement, and the connections between the histories of art, energy, body cultures, landscape, geology, physiological aesthetics both historically and in the present. The movement of the body in space and through time has preoccupied Pollard across her career, whether she is working with photography, kinetic sculpture or ceramics. Bodies, both real and metaphorical, are perpetually set in motion – twisting, turning, bowing, walking, dancing, sweating, punching – engaging with ideas and questions about ecology, temporality, race and gender as they move across the landscape.


10.00-11.00: Exhibition viewing & coffee

11.00-11.15: Welcome by Anthony Spira (Director, MK Gallery)

Session 1: Deep Time; Art, Writing, History

11.15-11.45: Evan Ifekoya (Artist and Energy Worker) Spiral Time and Sacred Reverberations

11.45-12.15: Richard Hylton (Lecturer in Contemporary Art, SOAS) Overcoming Hostile Environments

12.15-12.45: Discussion chaired by Gilane Tawadros (Chief Executive, DACS)

12.45-14.00: Lunch

Session 2: Matter and Materials; Chemicals, Process, Publication

14.00-14.30: Liz Wells (Emeritus Professor in Photographic Culture, University of Plymouth), Hidden Histories and Storying Place

14.30-15.00: Ella S. Mills (Associate Lecturer in History of Art, University of Plymouth) Texture & Tone in the Work of Ingrid Pollard

15.00-15.30: Discussion chaired by Cora Gilroy-Ware (Associate Professor, History of Art, University of Oxford)

15.30-16.00: Tea

16.00-16.45: Sheena Calvert (Book Designer) and Ajamu X (Artist), The Book and The Sensuousness of Process

16.45-17.00: Comfort break

Session 3

17.00-18.00: A Life in Protest: Jackie Kay (Poet) and Ingrid Pollard (Artist) in conversation

18.00-19.30: Reception

About the Exhibition

This major survey of Guyanese-born British artist and photographer, Ingrid Pollard, is the first exhibition to fully explore Pollard’s pioneering and experimental practice, from the 1980s to the present day.

Ingrid Pollard is renowned for using photography as social practice, working with portrait and landscape photography to question our relationship with the natural world and interrogate social constructs such as Britishness, race, sexuality and identity. Working across a remarkable variety of techniques, from photography, printmaking, drawing and installation, to artist’s books, video, audio and sculpture, Pollard’s practice combines meticulous research and experimental creative processes to make art that is at once deeply personal and socially engaged.

The exhibition is curated by Gilane Tawadros in collaboration with the artist and has been organised by MK Gallery with Turner Contemporary.

Winner of the Freelands Award 2020 Exhibition supported by Freelands Foundation. Supported by a Publications Grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Association for Art History.

Paul Mellon Centre for British Studies writtern in black for their logo


We are offering up to 10 bursaries to support individuals who may not otherwise be able to attend the conference. Bursaries will cover the ticket price (including the online option), travel and some expenses including childcare. If you would like to be considered for a bursary please email us, and write ‘Ingrid Pollard Bursary Request’ in the subject field, outlining your request for a supported place.

This conference is also available to attend online

Online Conference