Words by Katie Farley
Residing and honing his craft in London, England, Alexander James is a multimedia artist whose practice spans across painting, sculpture, video, and installation. He is presently unveiling an innovative new piece entitled ‘The Living Room,’ housed within an exhibition, ‘One More Slope,’ which he has imaginatively curated in partnership with The British Fashion Council.
The Living Room
Alexander’s latest installation invites the spectator into one of his most beloved childhood memories and sincere sources of inspiration – his grandparents’ living room. The personal space is reconstructed from the artist’s unique recollection and invokes the fantastical manner through which our memories frequently manifest. Throughout the room, Alexander depicts a youthful character of himself lounging across a sofa, much like he did as a child, his gaze occupied by his grandfather’s much-loved Western firms.
The artist desired to reconstruct ‘The Living Room’ as an amalgamation of identity, memories, and subjective interpretation. “By tapping into feelings of nostalgia from my younger self in this living room, it allowed me to have a twist on the key things I remember and then represent what it may feel like now if I were to spend a lot of time there” informs Alexander. “The lighting and mood of the room had to be correct, as I remember that being so clear. I remember the side lamp next to the sofa, the painting behind the sofa, and then the dog that slept on the floor in front of its a cushion. I find working with installations; the easiest way of combining old and new concepts and tell a story from more than one direction.”
‘The Living Room’ is additionally inhabited by notified faces extracted from Alexander’s earlier works, to illustrate how the effect of this influential time in his life, along with his grandfather’s presence, has profoundly informed his artistic creativity to this day.
Working alongside the British Fashion Council, an organization that allows projects and creativity to grow in numerous ways, Alexander was naturally thrilled to collaborate with them on this group exhibition. “I first met them at my London exhibition last summer, and they asked me to curate a group show of young emerging British artists. Those conversations culminated with One More Slope – something that I, and I hope they are really proud of.”
Alexander’s research and curiosities, sourced from several avenues, inspired him to work across more than one medium. “The stories in my work have many layers, which I feel can’t always be expressed by one medium. I like to approach things in as many unusual ways as possible; it usually takes me out of my comfort zone, which usually has nice results in future artworks. Each medium gives the narrative a new perspective; it gives an entirely new environment and feeling to the work. Each medium brings something new to the table; some of them cross over and have subtle links, whilst others don’t.”
With memories playing a hugely significant factor in his projects, Alexander James’s work conjures elements of curiosity. It addresses a sense of identity – aesthetics in which we, as viewers, can compellingly indulge.