Thesis Project: Tamrin Ingram
There is a poignant quietness and solitude to Tamrin Ingram’s work. When looking at her images I can feel the pressure of Louisianian heat on my skin, hear the rustling of the bugs around me, and feel the wetness of the humidity dripping down my back. Her work not only transports me physically but also mentally, bringing me into the complex and highly interconnected nature of the relationships she’s photographing around. In these unprecedented moments of social isolation, it’s images like these that remind me of the beauty of solitude, and the poetics of looking inward.
Fell this land
This is a story of lives lived close to the ground, of a group of people consumed by the state of the earth beneath them in the Cotton Belt of Louisiana. It merges family histories of generational poverty and environmental toxicity with the mythical sentience of the landscape. From writing, photographs, family records, stories and memory, characters emerge to question their faith as they come to terms with their cursed condition. Spinning these folk tales of a soured paradise, a creation story gone wrong, provides a sense of refuge for me and a deep connection to the place I come from.
The sky cracked open
And out of it fell this land
Those pine trees
A couple mosquitos
And a cottonmouth snake.
And then came my kin folk
A handful of cotton seeds
A whole lot of mud
And a bullfrog.
It rained for a week,
Came in a great big flood
Threatened to bring about the end of this brand-new creation.
Then the last raindrop fell
And the sky closed in on itself
But before it was fully sealed
Somethin slipped out
And slithered to the ground, almost undetected.
From the bank the bullfrog watched
Baring witness as this new creature
Sank into the mud
Laughing the whole way down.
This was the beginning.
>BB: As the traditional model of brick and mortar exhibition spaces become more difficult to sustain, both the arts organizations and the artist need to find solutions to sharing photographs. How best can an organization support the artist and visa versa?
TI: I think right now the best way we can all support each other is by being open to experimentation, and understanding of the new limitations we’re all faced with in the current global situation. There’s also never been a better time to open the doors of collaboration between organizations and artists, it’s a good time to work together to break out of the status quo and really push the boundaries of what we can do together.
BB: How are you finding community (online and in person) in a climate in which we increasingly rely on digital platforms to connect with each other?
TI: I rely on Instagram a lot to reach out to fellow photographers, artists, writers, and students. Especially right now. We’re all starving for meaningful connections and looking to build community on our digital platforms now that we’ve lost access to our physical communities.
BB: What are your thoughts on being a photographer today?
TI: Shoot through it, always shoot through it. When you’re feeling down or overwhelmed by the constant barrage of images, when you’re unsure of what you’re doing, when you’re lost, when you’re flustered, pick up the camera and shoot through it. A lot has changed in the world of photography in the last 100 years, and a lot will change in the next 100 years, but no matter what era you’re working in, yesterday, today, or tomorrow, hitting that shutter over and over again will always take you somewhere.
A Louisiana native, writer and photographer, Tamrin Ingram‘s work incorporates large format photographs, text, and familial records that explore themes of generational memory and familial trauma. Primarily photographing in the traditional mode of landscape photography, Tamrin’s work also addresses the environmental impact of pollution throughout the Cotton Belt. Ingram’s work has been shown across the United States in Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, and Illinois. She received her BFA from Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio. Currently Ingram resides in Tucson, Arizona where she is completing her MFA in the Photography, Video and Imaging program at University of Arizona. Feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org