Hasselblad Awards Acclaimed Photographer Ingrid Pollard $200,000

Ingrid Pollard is the latest Hasselblad Foundation Award Laureate

Guyana-born and England-raised photographer Ingrid Pollard is this year’s Hasselblad Award Recipient. Pollard, an internationally acclaimed photographer, receives a Hasselblad flagship camera and lenses, a unique gold medal, and SEK 2,000,000 — over $196,000.

Pollard was born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1953 and grew up in London, England. Her work on colonialism and race was first exhibited in 1984 in London, and the photographer’s debut solo exhibition was just a few years later in 1988. Alongside dozens of exhibitions, her work is featured in collections at museums around the world, and the artist has received many awards and commissions in the last 30-plus years.

Ingrid Pollard is the latest Hasselblad Foundation Award Laureate
Portrait of Ingrid Pollard by Emile Holba

Her work explores the impact of race and colonial power structures on modern life, including urban spaces and landscapes. Throughout Pollard’s career, she has also explored the historical use of photography to exercise control and power over subjugated people and cultures.

During her early career in the 1980s, Pollard worked at the Lenthall Road Workshop in East London. In addition to offering photography and screen-printing courses, this organization was heavily involved in political activism, including feminist, anti-racist, and gay rights causes. It was an important and powerful space for marginalized people in the area. Further, the experimental and creative approach to photography Pollard learned at Lenthall Road carried through to the rest of her career.

Ingrid Pollard 'Pastoral Interlude' photo series combines images and text to explore Black life in the context of rural countrysides.
Pollard’s 1988 series ‘Pastoral Interludes‘ was a breakthrough moment for the artist. The impact of the series remains felt today.
Ingrid Pollard 'Pastoral Interlude' photo series combines images and text to explore Black life in the context of rural countrysides.
‘Pastoral Interludes’

Among Pollard’s many notable works is her 1987 series Pastoral Interlude, which featured hand-tinted photographs of Black people in the English countryside. The idyllic scenes were presented alongside poetic text describing overlooked aspects of the British Empire and its colonial history.

Another series, Seaside in 1989, used self-portraiture and texts to explore the relationship between racism and migration. By combining her personal story as a Guyanese-born immigrant, the location of the 1066 Norman Invasion, and contemporary discussions on the controversial Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was in office from 1979 until 1990, Pollard considered how people talk about immigrants using violent and racist rhetoric.

Ingrid Pollard hand-tinted 19th century print, Valentine Days
Selected image from Pollard’s hand-tinted ‘Valentine Days‘ series. In this artwork, Pollard utilized her extensive printing skills to recreate and tint 19th-century postcards from Jamaica.
Ingrid Pollard hand-tinted 19th century print, Valentine Days
‘Valentine Days’
‘Valentine Days’

Similar themes have persisted throughout Pollard’s career. She has also consistently explored the concept of power through photographs of people and places touched by British colonialism. Through her work, Pollard aims to highlight and showcase stories of the Black experience that have long been related to historical footnotes.

Ingrid Pollard 'Self Evident' series
An image from Pollard’s 1995 series, ‘Self Evident
Ingrid Pollard 'Self Evident' series
‘Self Evident’

“Receiving the Hasselblad Award is a great honor,” says Pollard. “It comes at a point in my life when I’m quite mature and it gives me an opportunity to support younger photographers and researchers, which I intend to do. I wish for the award to extend beyond myself.”

“Ingrid Pollard’s extensive body of work addresses some of the most pressing issues of our time,” explains Kalle Sanner, CEO of the Hasselblad Foundation. “We are delighted and honored that she is the 44th Hasselblad Award winner and to present her work to a large audience in Scandinavia.”

Ingrid Pollard will be formally honored at an awards ceremony in Gothenburg, Sweden, on October 11, 2024. That same day, an exhibition of her work will open at the Hasselblad Center alongside a new publication about Pollard’s life and work. The ceremony will include a concert with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Sweden’s national orchestra.

Ingrid Pollard 'Landscape Trauma'
Landscape Trauma
Ingrid Pollard 'Contenders'
Contenders,’ 1995
Ingrid Pollard sculptures
Pollard is also a talented sculptor.

“We take great pride in our ongoing collaboration with the Hasselblad Foundation, celebrating distinguished photographers and their achievements in the photographic arts. We are thrilled the Hasselblad Foundation is honoring Ingrid Pollard and proud to present her with our flagship cameras in recognition of her exceptional contributions to the art and photography communities,” explains Hasselblad Marketing Manager Bronius Rudnickas.

Pollard joins an illustrious and exclusive group of prior Hasselblad Award laureates, including Ansel Adams (1981), Cindy Sherman (1994), Hiroshi Sugimoto (2001), Dayanita Singh (2022), and Carrie Mae Weems (2023).

Image credits: Portrait of Ingrid Pollard by Emile Holba. All other photographs © Ingrid Pollard. Significantly more of Pollard’s work is available on her website.