James P Graham - Biography
b.Windsor 1961

James P Graham has been working full time as an artist for nine years working principally in film, photography, drawing & sculpture. He is autodidactic, leaving Eton College at 18 and starting his career in photography working out of Paris until 1994, subsequently returning to London for a brief spell as Director in TV and Cinema. Within this period he completed international commissions in editorial, and advertising photography as well as television commercials. His decision to pursue a career as a fine artist followed a long two year sabbatical where he refused all commercial work in order to concentrate on spawning his first purposeful artworks in 2002-3. These were screen based, experimental filmworks using Super 8 film and framed within landscape of 'metaphysical and ontological significance'.

His first large scale work Iddu (2007) was made over 5 years on the landscape of the active volcano Stromboli in Italy and jointly funded through the Arts Council of England and the NESTA Foundation. This 360 degree multi screen film installation was first shown at MUDAM Luxembourg in 2007 in the form of a 9m diameter 3m high tent. Iddu was last exhibited at the Busan Biennial, South Korea in Sept-Nov 2010.

In 2008 he turned to sculpture and made the first of his Suspended Animation sculptures, where Graham enhances the living qualities of stone. Every flint contains a naturally made hole which ancients believed possessed healing qualities, and the sculptural forms resemble warped skeletal frames imperceptibly hovering above the ground. This is not unrelated to his film Losing Seahenge (1999) which clearly laments the sacrilegious removal of a 4000 year old burial site to a sterile ‘geological zoo’, a site now lost for ever as a result of its autopsy and excavation.

Having trained traditionally in photography and filmmaking, Graham particularly enjoys the interface between analogue processes and high end technology. Recently, many of his projects like Albion (2006), and the ongoing Voyage print series, have been made uniquely using polaroid, which is believed to be the only visual medium to successfully capture the energetic field of a place or person. Likewise his latest project Pilgrimage (2009) was created during a five day walk along the St.Michael ley-line that runs from the tip of Cornwall, through Glastonbury Tor & Avebury, to Bury St.Edmunds and the Eastern tip of Norfolk.

Mainly using landscape and nature, his work often references the now disused term ‘scientia sacra’, permeating chosen locations and objects with a metaphysical and ontological significance. As well as interpreting and re-creating notions of ‘sacred space’, his work is infused with ideas that derive from intuitive and ritualistic sources. The results can be enticingly intangible, and in some cases, totally immersive. Graham sites two important factors fundamental to his work. First, ‘intuition’, the catalyst behind the creation of every artwork, and second, ‘resonance’ the result of the work as expressed through the viewer.

He lives and works in London.

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