Ian Cumberland

"Encountering the work of Ian Cumberland is a peculiar, unsettling experience, as if the viewer has intruded into a 'space' and a 'moment' to which they are alien. Positioned as an outsider, Cumberland's series of multi component tableaux seem to offer a viewing experience that falls somewhere between an invitation to eavesdrop and an unintended moment of voyeurism." - David Campbell, writer and curator.

Ian Cumberland is an Irish visual artist. He was born in Banbridge Co. Down, 1983. His work focuses on portraits with his paintings typically using oils as the primary media. He studied fine art at Ulster University, and since graduating in 2006 with a First Class Honours degree, Ian has gone on to exhibit his work both nationally and internationally, in cities such as London, Edinburgh, New York, and Boston as well as Belfast and Dublin. 


Ian has won several prizes, the most significant of which was the Davy Portrait Award in 2010. In 2019 and 2020 Cumberland deals in his work with increased commercialization, technological development and its effects on the individual. In doing so, he creates scenes that seem like a private snapshot and transport the viewer into a voyeuristic experience. He develops these by integrating his paintings into an installation consisting of audio and video works, neon light, sculptures and other plastic materials. Through this kind of deconstruction of his created sceneries he achieves a visual construction that alienates the human being within his culture, the influence of the mass media and data surveillance.


In 2011 he won third place overall in the BP Portrait Award from a field of 2400 entries.