Asger Jorn had the Nordic ancient art. Picasso the African masks, Jackson Pollak the Navajo Indians’ sand paintings. The more rescent times’ art history is expanding with artists who have found their inspiration in epokes, which spirituallly and materially lay far from the classical Greece’s art and the Renaiscence – the two major art principles before modernism
which had been the ultimate styles.

In the case of Ingrid Duch, it is a basic inspiration from the ancient Egyptian art, with which she became familiar during two longer periods in the beginning of her carrier. The land by the Nile, less patriarcical and less militaristic than the Messopotamian art, the feminine goddesses, Nut, Isis, Bast, Hathor and Maat all played a great roll in the Egyptian reliefs, papyrus pictures and grave paintings:

The goddess of the sky, Nut, arched her body protectively over the earth, Isis gave her milk to and protected, Bast with his cat-head. Motives which one finds in Ingrid Duch’s image world, which, as for the paintings, are done in tempera, gives a more matt surface than the pastious effect of olie paint. The great advantage of tempara over olie is that one can work with the wet tempera until there is no noticable difference between forground and background as is the case with oilpainting.

Just as little as it was with Asger Jorn it is with Ingrid Duch: there is no forced imitation of the ancient artworks. The Egyptian inspiration is used to create works which are through and through her own, set into, and interpretted, in a modern context. Something which is expressed in paintings where Egyptian animals and humans are confronted with automobiles, fighterjets and other motives from our modern world. Likewise there is not only references to ancient Egypt. In Ingrid Duch’s pictures one can also discover influences from Eskimo, Minoic, Indian, and precolumbian art, and probably from many more earlier civilasations. It is not the idea to identify this inspiration with 100 percent precision, but to realize that the magical, fertility rituals, and ceation histories play a crucial role in ancient art. A role which Ingrid Duch assumes in her paintings, where animals and humans either enter a symbolical relationship or are threatened by external powers. But for most part a harmonic relationship rules in her pictures. A type of ancient relationship rules with mother-goddess as the life-giving factor, in a world of peace and balance.

There goes in Ingrid Duch’s works a unbroken line from Isis and Horus images to Madonna and the child in a way which makes visible the ancient connection between the prehistoric fertillity mythes and the Christian Madonna-worship. A very important point in a time where patriarchal family and community relationships still dominate in large parts of the world.

Through her art, Ingrid Duch shows a way towards an alternative to the modern world. A world where materialism, war and supression are replaced with peace, harmony and love – between individuals as well as between humans and animals. This is the central theme of Ingrid Duch’s message to us. A message in her own still and peaceful manner, universel and reaching far beyond tradional, cultural barriers.

By Tom Jørgensen Editor, art historian, The Art Paper