The beautiful is in nature, and it is encountered under the most diverse forms of reality. Once it is found it belongs to art or rather to the artist who discovers it
— Gustave Courbet

About the artist...

James Blackwell's artwork centres on themes of nature, silence, structure and meditation. Utilizing natural materials gathered from the Australian bushland and other resources, he  reconfigures the materials into grid-like formations often in a 3 dimensional manner with the use of textured and handmade papers as a support. The overall effect produces intimate assemblages offering a contemplative space to reveal an aspect of tranquility and stillness. In addition to conveying calmness, the work  implies the passage of time. The objects intricate detail and evident focus on process reveal a steady hand and time spent engaging with the material. The ephemeral nature of the artist's material also invokes our own sense of transience or impermanence, bringing to our attention the degenerative nature of our own physicality. Despite this sombre thought, there is also a playful aspect to the artworks; gum leaves become written text, tufts of fragile stalk fluff balance precariously on tightropes of grass tree stems. "Part of the joy in creating these works is seeing what can become of the easily discarded or ignored." Bushwalking in the Blue Mountains has become part of the artists lifestyle "I like to think of the valley floor as my art supply store!"

The apparent calm and superficial quietude of Blackwell’s work belies levels of depth and strength which emerge in a prolonged viewing. In such ways they function as an effective metaphor for meditation and the meditative process of creativity. Blackwell’s works on paper are not only feature exquisite and seductive handling of graphic media, but denote a level of creative maturity and psychological integrity which offers a lot of promise, for the work and the artist
— Margaret Mejhju

James Blackwell is represented by Lost Bear Gallery Katoomba NSW and Janet Clayton Gallery, Sydney NSW

All work featured on this site is the property of James Blackwell © 2015

Thank you to Graeme Wienand for artwork photography