Staff Show 2018: Jordan Ingram

In this series, Manager of Visitor and Family Engagement Emily Bray highlights participants in This Is My Day Job: The 2018 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show, on view through September 30, 2018.

Artwork by Jordan Ingram

Ceasing/Seeking by Jordan Ingram

Tell us about yourself.

Coming from a lifelong love of fantastical stories and music, I share intimate internal narratives in my work, often through the use of whimsical surrealism, abstraction, and sound. I graduated from the George Mason University School of Art in 2017 with a BFA in Art and Visual Technology, concentrating in painting. My work often addresses emotional commonalities, aiming to give viewers the freedom to relate the work to their own experiences, and the ability to consider and relate to that which may be outside of their experience.

What do you do at The Phillips Collection? Are there any unique or interesting parts about your job that most people might not know about?

I am a museum assistant and an admissions associate, which means I get to guard the art, answer visitor questions, sell tickets, and overall do my best to serve as a “face” of The Phillips Collection. Whether I am working in security or at the front desk, I want to provide visitors with a positive experience and show them all the wonderful things that the Phillips has to offer.

Photo of Jordan Ingram

Jordan Ingram

Who is your favorite artist in the collection?

Arthur Dove, Frances Bacon, John Henry Twachtman, Jacob Lawrence, Renee Stout, and the list goes on.

What is your favorite space within The Phillips Collection?

Anywhere in the House, especially the foyer and the Music Room.

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2018 Staff Show (or your work in general)?

In my paintings, I have always been interested in finding ways to straddle the line between precision and fluidity, and I continued working with this idea in my piece Ceasing/Seeking. However, I commonly find myself veering back over to precision in my work, so in the case of this painting, I chose to focus on turning its originally precise linework into something fluid and a little more care-free. I was ceasing to confine myself to precision, and seeking to free myself up and exercise different methods and techniques for my painting. Therefore, I am Ceasing/Seeking.

This Is My Day Job: The James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show is on view through September 30, 2018. Join us for a reception in the exhibition on September 20, 5-7 pm.

ArtGrams: Marking the Infinite

As Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia reaches its final weekend, we’d like to share some great shots that our visitors posted on Instagram. Come see the exhibition (and snap some photos!) before it closes on September 9!

Photo by @jeaninnemariee


Photo by @maegan.ramirez


Photo by @pattybarden


Photo by @quweixun


Photo by @nikfish


Photo by @infocusandie




Photo by @seenandspoken


Photo by @waynegafford


Photo by @btransatlantic


Photo by @melhess


Photo by @saiyyamarts


Photo by @callheraminaa


Larrakitj Poles

Larrakitj Poles in Marking the Infinite. Photo: Lee Stalsworth

Larrakitj Poles in Marking the Infinite. Photo: Lee Stalsworth

Larrakitj were once created by the Yolngu (indigenous peoples from the northeastern Arnhem Land region) to house the bones of their dead. For these traditional burial poles, only the most perfectly symmetrical hollow trunk eucalyptus trees were used. Once stripped of bark, the surface would be decorated with detailed paintings intended to guide the deceased to their spiritual home. Larrakitj still play an important role in Yolngu mortuary rites and memorial practices, but no longer function as receptacles for human remains. In the 1980s, artists began making Larrakitj for the art market, departing from the strict conventions of ceremonial design. They became less concerned with symmetry and, in the 2000s, began exploring the surface features of the trunk, utilizing imperfections as integral parts of its expressive form.

Nonggirrnga Marawili’s works (as seen in top image) often reference the four key elements of Madarrpa Law: lightning, fire, water, and rock. Cascading diamonds convey water and fire; jagged lines are reminiscent of lightning; dark shapes indicate rocks; and white dots suggest sea spray or the barnacles adorning rocks. Each of these elements is connected to specific ancestral events in Madarrpa country. While Marawili alludes to the visual conventions of ceremonial painting, she ultimately represents her own interpretations. In doing so, the artist demonstrates the deep connection that Yolngu ancestral forces have to their lands as well as to their identity. The Yolngu word “Yurr’yun” refers to the water marks produced by a powerful wave crushing against a rock, from splashes to droplets to mist.

This work is on view in Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia through September 9, 2018.