Professor Stephen Inggs holds a Master of Arts (Fine Art) degree from the University of Natal and a Postgraduate Diploma in Printmaking from the University of Brighton, England. Inggs holds regular solo exhibitions of his creative work nationally and internationally. His work has been included in numerous international group exhibitions and art fairs such as AIPAD, Art Chicago, Photo LA, A.r.e.a. Art Region End of Africa in Reykjavik, Iceland and the International Print Triennial in Krakow, Poland where he was a prizewinner in 2003. Inggs’ work is held in numerous collections including Iziko South African National Gallery, Durban Art Gallery, University of Cape Town, Rand Merchant Bank, MTN, Sanlam, Northwestern University, the Library of Congress and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian, USA.
Inggs’ creative research focuses on the visual representation of overlooked material objects and places, as emblems of transience and history. Using an ‘archaeographical’ method of finding, collecting and photographing, his creative work explores ideas about the meaning of objects and places, and the potency that lies in their associations and traces of history, society, nature and culture. The objective of his work is to create new layers of meaning, linking our thoughts about the constructions of the past in relation to the present. The process of working with material objects as still lives and reviving them from relative obscurity, underlines the way it is possible to transform an object’s value, and confer a canonical status to something that has been previously overlooked. His research looks at ways in which visual analysis and creative translation can give new meaning to human engagement with the inanimate object world.
Major research interests include printmaking, photography, artists’ books and portfolios, and the archaeology of identity. Projects have been largely located in lithography, photography and printmaking, each of which has had a complex history and relationship to issues of identity and the politics of knowledge. The influence of aesthetic criteria in printmaking and photography is an ongoing concern that has informed his creative production.
Text - Michaelis School of Fine Art