...occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold...
James is a free-lance illustrator, visual artist, practicing architect (and all-round wearer of different creative hats..) based in the south-west of Ireland. He operates at the threshold of distinct yet inextricably linked design disciplines: (illustration) // (fine art) // (architecture). This page acts as a sort of inter-disciplinary platform for the juxtaposition of this creative output - a meandering record of where motivation, method and manifestation overlap and diverge.
My arts practice has evolved predominately out of a tradition of drawing on the walls as a child, but now encompasses a range of media from hand-drawing to oil painting to a form of hybrid digital image making, combining traditional techniques with a few modern ones. Over the years it has also been greatly informed by learnings gleaned from my architectural education and practice, be they related to considerations of light, form and colour to representational systems and compositional structure. Broadly speaking my artwork and illustration is characterised by an eye for detail - it roams from primarily more representational and figurative compositions to more abstract suggestive imagery. My default state of being is creating images as a way of making sense of the world around me (probably sounds a little odd). I am inspired by art, stories and places (both real and imagined). Endlessly intrigued by the phenomenology of place and its interplay with our own internal narratives, I've become fascinated by the everyday and relating to my surroundings - my work attempts to convey to others a sense of place or some subtle narrative or emotion which I have perceived.
...I've always liked something that I read about Edward Hoppers work that I find to be really relatable; that his goal in painting was to represent the connection between the interiority of his subjective mind and what he observed in the exterior world. He is credited as saying that the beginning and end of all literary/artistic activity is, 'the reproduction of the world that surrounds me by means of the world that is in me'.
Born in Cork in 1987 - Places James has called home at one point or another include: Tralee, Murroe, Dublin, Dingle, Melbourne, London, Ennis, Conna.
He studied architecture at University College Dublin, holding a Bachelor of Science (2009), Bachelor of Architecture (2012) and Masters of Architecture (2013) - before later going on to receive a Post-graduate Diploma in Professional Practice in Architecture (2016) from the University of Westminster. He is a chartered architect in Ireland (MRIAI) and the UK (ARB) and has worked in architectural practice since 2013 whilst concurrently working on self initiated art projects and independent illustration/design commissions. Most recently he was a student of illustration at the 'House of Illustration' gallery in Kings Cross (2017) and is currently a registered member of the Association of Illustrators (AOI).
He takes a project based approach to his work - equally comfortable working independently or collaboratively with others depending on the requirements of a given project.
Further to above, some thematic threads and preoccupations which inform and permeate his work include:
(in no particular order)
liminality / experiential memory and imagination / connection to the past / connection to a sense of place / visual articulation of feeling where efficacy of language fails / connection between colour and emotion / embodied visual translation or re-presencing of lived bodily experience / phenomenological theory generally / drawing out of awareness from the spaces between conscious and unconscious experience of our surroundings / sensory interaction / spatial experience / representational methodologies / surrealism / visual and perceptual theory.
..amongst others things..
Commissions are welcome.
Thanks for reading.