Artist Bio: CHARLES INGHAM is a photographic artist living in San Diego. Born in England, he received his undergraduate and post-graduate degrees from the University of Essex before moving to California and teaching at SDSU and Palomar College. He is a studio artist at ArtHatch in Escondido.
Artist Statement: My photo-narratives explore invented spaces, alternative histories, and visual fictions, at times incorporating altered, appropriated images, and at times acting as hybrid forms, incorporating original texts. In some pieces, images alone form a narrative; a horizontal row of five to seven photographs creates a “cinematic” form. In others, words and images create a dynamic interplay, seeking to transgress the traditional boundaries separating the verbal and the visual. Each work constitutes a narrative to be “read” by the viewer. I am a conceptual artist, and my photo-narratives represent a combinatory aesthetic; such works constitute a whole made up of parts, creating something of a symbiosis. As the artist Alexis Smith says of the elements within her collages and assemblages: “It's fused into a whole where they seem like they’ve always been together, or were meant to be together. The people that look at them put them together in their heads.” These interchanges between image and text (or image and image) are rarely straightforward, however. Placing verbal and visual elements together, for example, immediately creates a tension for the viewer that they want to find/interpret in order to "explain" the narrative of the piece; thus, the artist expects viewers to find a unique narrative of their own in the work. Some visual references may be obvious, while some of the bones, sinews, and other connective tissue that hold a particular narrative together work within the piece’s own logic, a logic that viewers find for themselves. Again, here the artist makes the work, and that work has an agenda, but a significant part of that agenda is for the viewer to find something of (or for) themselves within these images and words; hence, the simplification of titles or, on occasion, the absence of titles. In single-image works, the intention of narrative remains. Here the image represents a still moment stolen from the worlds that we have invented for ourselves. As a photographer, I feel that what it always comes down to is that question of choosing what to steal and what to pass over. And it’s a question of how fast one can run from the authorities. Getting away with it.