Bryan Ingham (1936 – 1997) is regarded as one of the most important of the second generation of St Ives artists. Born in Lancashire, he initially followed his family’s footsteps by going into the tailoring trade, before joining the RAF where he first started to paint.
Ingham moved to London to study at St Martin’s School of Art, where he was able to explore his interest in the use of a variety of different mediums, concentrating on real and implied space within the surface of the picture. Upon graduating he was offered a place at the Royal College of Art, where in his second year he was awarded a Royal Scholarship and was a contemporary of a number of now better-known names including David Hockney.
He developed a preoccupation with etching which resulted in several hundred plates and the results are as unmistakable as they are varied. He also started to interpret his ideas in three dimensions, adding tangible materials to his work and producing a number of sculptures in bronze and in plaster. He was keen to escape the city so based himself in Cornwall, where he met many of the St Ives group and enjoyed producing work in the quiet of the country until his death in 1977.
Looking back at his career and his exploratory work he said: ‘…most people have chosen to stick to just one pathway, not the pathways of construction, collage, oil painting, drawing, etching lithograph and of their various components… it’s taken all of that time just to arrive at the beginning’.