Ian Cumberland was born in Banbridge, Northern Ireland in 1983. He graduated from Ulster University in 2006, receiving a BA(Hons) in Fine and Applied Art. He works primarily with paint and installation.

Cumberland stages fictional scenes that when viewed have a sensation of voyeurism. Individual figures contained within generic everyday settings create an environment, which intrudes into moments that appear private. He carefully arranges mise–en-scènes, sets, actors, props and lighting to reconstruct an illusion of normality that is understood through mass media. These are then photographed and painted. The paintings are treated as objects among a multi component tableau staged within the gallery in a wider installation. Elements framed within the paintings extend into the space with fabric, paint, neon, sculpture and video work. By expanding the paintings’ mode of presentation, Cumberland is highlighting the process of construction through a method of deconstruction, exploring ideas about the human condition, culture, symptoms of mass media, surveillance and control.

Important Collections:

-G2 Kunsthalle, Hildebrand Collection, Leipzig, Germany

-National Self Portrait Collection of Ireland

-Office of Public Works, Ireland Arts Council of Northern Ireland

-Northern Ireland Civil Service Art Collection

-Belfast City Hall

-Queens University, Belfast University of Ulster


‘Presence in Absence’ – Solo Exhibition

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Biography & Works


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Presence in Absence

Presence in Absence



Work Featured in:

Summer Exhibition 2019