Born in 1980, James grew up in Dublin, leaving for Cork to attend Crawford College of Art and Design when he was 19. In 2010 James Graduated from a Master’s degree course in Aesthetics and the History of Art. Since leaving art school James has worked solely in stone, mainly limestone and marble, exhibiting regularly both in Ireland and internationally.
A notable trait in James’ sculpture is the use of Marble (and other stone) is a very loose, sketch-like manner. The medium of the renaissance sculptors flippantly used to portray a fat man in his underwear, for example. The light-hearted nature of some of these expressive figures almost masks the dark humour at play. His work is based on people, society and our environment. Humour plays a large part in his work; both in the ideas and the physique of the figures to make light of more serious ideas. Specific ideas in his work range from a mother holding her child to drunks fighting in the street, anything has the potential to inspire him to create a work of Art in his chosen medium. Sometimes an underlying theme can consume his practice for months at a time and a series of work can be produced, these are often serious themes; the recession, religion or his most recent series about war and man’s obsession with power.
“My sculptures are expressive, figurative and are recognisable by their over-size hands and feet. I like to think of my work as a physical representation of an emotional response. It is not enough to create pretty things, my sculptures need to affect people, to tap into something intangible while also being a powerful physical presence. Negative space within a sculpture allows it to inhabit, not invade the area it occupies”