Artist statement – Karl James
Karl James is as a self- taught, multi award winning artist working from Whyalla in regional South Australia. His oeuvre is wide and ranges from colourful, expressionist, figurative narratives and portraits in oil and watercolour to charcoal, pastel and mixed media drawings, mono prints, linocuts and collages. He will be exhibiting as part of the Outback Colour & Wind exhibition at the Lodge Outback Motel.
What motivates you to work as an artist?
There’s always something more isn’t there, that little nag, lurking; that unanswered question that begs to be asked; that shadowy itch tickling tender nerves. Some search for answers in theology or science, some in philosophy or quiet meditation. I choose to paint. The beauty of this search through the creative arts is that there are no boundaries and the possibilities are endless. For me painting is a record of that exploration. That search for understanding.
What is the main thing you want your art to communicate to viewers?
This evolutionary journey as an artist has been one of slowly peeling back the layers of self and plumbing the depths of soul. There’s an intriguing paradox in this search as a visual artist and that is the reaching out, the pawing and clawing at the tangible to find the intangible. The works themselves are narratives not only in their outward appearance but also of this search.
What do you think are the most important characteristics of your art?
I am a storyteller. Whether it be by reinterpreting historical events, myths or just exploring an emotional or psychological scenario there is always something to be learned, sieved through the psyche and passed on to the viewer in a new way.
It’s a tough love though, painting in the blue collar industrial paradigm in which I live, where artistic ideals and thoughts are trampled underfoot like discarded fag ends, so my paintings seem to lurk in a dreamy twilight, their narrative like whispers behind a curtain until being wide eyed startled by the spotlight gaze of a viewer.