Being brought up close to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park has been a gift and an education to James from a very young age. The aesthetic of Barbara Hepworth’s work is almost ingrained in him, as though it were the basis of his consciousness of texture, proportion, line and form. After completing a foundation course at Dewsbury Art College, James spent two weeks in the ceramics department working with renowned Raku Ceramist David Roberts. He was immediately drawn to clay as a material. Later, upon graduation from Loughborough and then the Royal College of Art in 2001, James set up a studio in London for several years before returning to his native Yorkshire in 2005.
James creates bold and striking forms in black and white clay often on a dramatic scale. Inspiration comes from the stunning Yorkshire Pennine landscape where his studio is situated. The surrounding landscape is characterised by river valleys, hills, fells, mountains, high edges and valleys. The contour of this scenery is ever present and always inspiring.
When mist and fog descend, it transforms the curves and valleys of the land into a monochromatic palette, where texture is prominent. These natural elements of texture, beauty and form are conveyed with each unique sculpture he creates.