Ingela Ihrman: We Thrive – new exhibition at Cooper Gallery

Hogweed, intestines, a giant otter giving birth and a toad doing gymnastics will all feature when the first UK solo exhibition of Swedish artist Ingela Ihrman opens at the University of Dundee’s Cooper Gallery next month.

‘We Thrive’ will launch with a preview evening and performance by the artist on Thursday 8 March. It opens to the public the next day and runs until mid-April.

Ingela Ihrman’s work explores our complex and problematic relationship with invasive species and the anthropomorphising of the animal kingdom. Drawing upon poetic absurdism and using craft and amateur theatrics among other mediums, the exhibition contests and subverts how we see and interact with nature.

Curator Sophia Hao said, “Nature is often portrayed as being ‘red in tooth and claw’ or as ‘the great outdoors’, a landscape rich in daydreams of play and discovery. However, both images are, in a contemporary world defined by climate change, practices of re-wilding and conservation, increasingly untenable. Encompassing performance, crafted object and moving image, ‘We Thrive’challenges us to rethink how society situates, codifies and relates to the world around us.”

Ingela Ihrman has gained international attention in the past few years for her radical reconceptualisation of nature, with installations, writing and performances taking place across the world.

The exhibition preview takes place from 5.30-7.30pm on Thursday 8 March, when the artist will perform her work, Giant Otter Giving Birth.

‘We Thrive’ is open to the public from 9 March-13 April. Cooper Gallery opening hours are Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm and Saturdays from 11am-5pm.

More information about Ingela Ihrman’s exhibition can be found at

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