Ian Cumberland (b.1983)

Just to Feel Normal, 2011

Oil on linen

150cm x 100cm

Courtesy of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Ian Cumberland was born in Banbridge, Northern Ireland in 1983. He graduated from University of Ulster in 2006, receiving a BA (Hons) in Fine and Applied Art. Awards include the Artist International Development Fund from the British Council and Arts Council of Northern Ireland 2018 and an ACES Award from the Arts Council Northern Ireland 2014. Cumberland has exhibited extensively, most recently ‘Presence in Absence’ at the JD Malat Gallery, London, 2020. Other Solo shows include ‘A Common Fiction/Once removed’ exhibited at the Josef Filipp Gallery, Leipzig, Germany 2019 and ‘A Common Fiction’ at the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast , 2018. Cumberland’s work can be found in collections such as the National Self Portrait Collection, Ireland, Office of Public Works, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Queens University, Belfast and the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

He works primarily with paint and installation. Just to Feel Normal is a painting about the hardships of life. The subtlety on the grin makes it hard to distinguish if the subject is happy, depressed or defiant. He uses colour and mark making to describe the texture and blemishes of the flesh in a gritty manor. This painting was exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery, London as part of the BP Portrait Award 2011 where it was awarded third place.