Karen Ingham is an artist, writer, and designer. She was born in England and raised in the United States, Germany and Norway. She gained an MPhil and a PhD with the University of Wales for her research into historical and contemporary art and science collaborations in the biomedical domain. She is an awardee of a Major Creative Wales Arts Prize and of AHRC and Wellcome Trust awards. Her work is internationally exhibited and disseminated and has been shown at the ICA London, the Berlin and Edinburgh Film Festivals, Somerset House London, Waag Amsterdam, and The National Museum and Gallery of Wales amongst other venues. She has several publications in distribution with Dewi Lewis Publishing, Ffotogallery Publications, Seren Books and CG Publishing.
Ingham’s primary art form is lens-based arts. Her approach is interdisciplinary, incorporating theory and practice, and she often works site-specifically. Major themes are: biomedical discourse and museology, ‘Wonder Chamber’ (2012), ‘Narrative Remains’ (2009), ‘Anatomy Lessons’ (2004); art and neuroscience, ‘Seeds of Memory’ (2006); mutability, transience and the vanitas, ‘Vanitas: Seed-Head’ (2005); the photographic memento-mori, ‘Death’s Witness’ (2001); art, science and technology interactions, ‘Fragile Mass’ (2008); and the notion of locatedness and dislocation, ‘Lost’ (1998) ‘Paradise Park’ (2000) ‘Ha Ha: Margam Re-visited’ (2002) and ‘Unnatural Histories’ (2008). She has received support from a wide range of funders to research, exhibit, tour and publish a series of artist’s interventions. These interventions are often staged in exclusive domains such as the Dissecting Room, the Anatomical Museum, and the Medical Research Laboratory. Her practice often addresses the museum space and museology and her fascination with the Wunderkammer (Wonder Chamber) is reflected in her interest in the intersections between art, science and technology.
Whilst grounded in a philosophical discourse, public engagement across art and science is also important, as demonstrated by her AHRC Sci-Art Research Fellowship Seeds of Memory (2005/6) with the Cardiff Neuroscience Research Group, and her film and exhibition Narrative Remains (2009), a collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons Hunterian Museum in London funded by The Wellcome Trust Arts Awards. She also writes on: the photographic memento mori, ‘A Dark Adapted Eye’ in Stilled (2006) and ‘From Tissue to Text’ in The Journal of Performance Research, Issue 15.1 Memento Mori (2010) and on contemporary revitalisations of the anatomical theatre and the body therein, ‘Art and the Theatre of Mind and Body’ in The Journal of Anatomy (2010), ‘The Anatomy Lesson of Professor Moxham’ in (Ed. Maaike Bleeker) Anatomy Live: Performance and The Operating Theatre, University of Amsterdam Press (2008) and Anatomy Lessons (2004). Ingham’s practice also includes design and architectural projects such as ‘Keeper’ (2013 with Bella Kerr) and ‘Hybrid Lives Co-Working Space’ (2013 with the Royal College of Art and the AHRC Creative Exchange).
International public engagement design and textile technology projects include ‘Pollinator Frocks’ (2010-2011) Wales Arts International and SCANZ 2011 New Zealand. Ingham is represented by Millennium Images London and her work is in several collections including The British Film Institute and The Lux Centre, London.