Artist Statement- Grace James
I explore the thresholds of in-between-ness and difference that offer us freedom or order, restriction or release, permanence or impermanence. I like these contradictions that surround us like our willingness to meet societal expectations and our desire to be different. My work unveils the otherness which separates us and the civilising behaviours which bind us, presenting fantastical anthropomorphic figures masked in otherness against motifs of order. Animalesque figures extend a creative freedom to my figuration. At the crux of my work lies the carnivalesque with its liminal freedom of anonymity affording a release from social restraint and a space to mock the official. I like its frivolity; acceptance, and permission to play with rules and conventions. These ideas anchor my composition and narratives connecting my figuration to evoke a quirky humour for my viewer to uncover.
I use an amalgamation of styles and methods enjoying the disorder and harmony this presents. Working with thinned acrylic to draw my delicate precise figures, and colourful layered textured acrylic and spray-paint to boldly stencil and ground blueprinting my painting’s history. I use framing to constrain and restrict the vibrant revelry in my work. Each canvas is a playground of control and happenstance, unapologetically fantastical. My north east roots inspire me to create works that can be visually accessible, whilst layering meaning and narrative into my paintings to invite the viewer to linger longer in their looking. In the curation of my work I wish to create an immersive environment for the viewer, allowing them to enjoy the imaginarium my work evokes!