Tuesday, 25 October 2011

James Watts - using local materials

James came to BIA last week to have a look at the gallery space. We hadn't met before, and it was good to talk with him, and to get a sense of how his sculptures could best work in the Local Velocity exhibition. I had seen some mostly small wall works at Woolloongabba Art Gallery http://www.wag.com.au/

The material James uses to make his sculptures is what is often referred to as 'found', which sounds as if it is something fortuitously stumbled across from time to time, but in practice means that he is constantly searching and on the lookout for suitable things to use: mostly re-cycled timber discarded during the renovation of old houses. It also means that there is a limit to the amount of material available. (At present, James is looking for any old windows from houses, the style with a wooden frame and six panes of glass usually found within old Queenslander homes. It doesn't matter if the window glass has broken, but if you see any or know of anyone wanting to get rid of some in Brisbane, let me know pace.curator@gmail.com  and I'll pass it on to James.)

There are similarities in this process of re-using old building materials with the work of Bruce Reynolds. Comparing their different approaches and uses of their found materials may be a topic of discussion once the works are installed in the show. Its also clear how both Bruce's and James' art practices coincide with the ideas behind Local Velocity. At what rate and in what ways do we change our local built environment?

Having found or chosen carefully, pieces of-for example-painted timber to use, James doesn't change or add to the surface of the found piece. His process then is how to select and assemble the pieces to construct a work. Its easier to see the results in images than in a wordy description.

All images courtesy of James Watts. All Rights Reserved. 

Cubby 2, 2009

Blue talking with blue, 2009
Golden Light, 2009
The fourth dimension, 2008

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