Ingolv has an unusual background for a fine artist. He was first schooled at St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts and after taking a degree in philosophy at Amherst College, Helland moved to New York to work as a bond analyst for Citicorp Securities. During his finance tenure, he studied drawing at the Art Students League of New York in the evenings and privately with Michael Aviano at the weekends. In 1997 Helland left city finance to focus on his art. He returned to his native Oslo in 2006 after living for spells in Copenhagen, Berlin, Ny Hellesund, (an island of the coast of southern Norway), and briefly in Kerala, India.
Helland was soon after selected for the 2007 exhibition for the prestigious BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, Helland's self-portrait was one of only 60 artists selected to participate - out of 1870 entries - and his work was chosen to illustrate both the exhibition's poster and its catalogue. Hellend was rare amongst exhibitors that year in that he escaped the scorn of Brian Sewell in a particularly vitriolic attack on the competition for the London Evening Standard.
We first encountered Helland's work during his degree show for his MA course at Camberwell in 2010. Despite a studio fire destroying much of the work he was planning to submit, enough was reclaimed or reworked to provide a very impressive display. One of the works in that show was the Shadow Box - the work that provided the source material for our series of 3 untitled paintings. The Shadow Box is a light box consisting of a series of chambers with high gloss white walls and a highly reflective black Perspex base. The viewers is able to look into these chambers through 3 portals, and within the rooms, but concealed from outside view, are inset a series of red, green and blue LED's. The viewer can manipulate these using a control panel in order to regulate the quality of light throughout the chambers and in doing so examine the phenomenological relationship between Light, Space and Time
Helland who has recently been announced as one of the winners of the YICCA 2010 / 2011 International Contest of Contemporary Art. Helland's selected piece of work is the Shadow Box. All the winners will exhibit their work at the Factory-Art Gallery in Berlin between 5th and 29th May 2011 and will be published in the catalogue YICCA 2010 / 2011.
Our series of paintings, whilst first appearing to be wholly abstract, are actually more akin to interior views. A highly accomplished painter in oils, Helland uses traditional painting techniques such as the application of thin oil glazes to build up his compositions. This results in the finished works having a surprising luminance and delicacy of colour, which matches the subtle gradations found in the Shadow Box. The paintings are complex and beautiful, and defy categorisation or association with any particular art trend or style.