For over three decades English artist Alexander James has explored the mechanics of water as visual representations of life and humanity within his intricate and powerful image making. We spoke exclusively with the esteemed photographer discussing his artistic career thus far and where he finds inspiration.
WORDS BY FINNIAN MULLALLY MUSCHINSKI & IMAGES BY DISTIL ENNUI STUDIO ®
What made you decide to become an artist?
I had no choice in the matter, I feel compelled to collect objects and thoughts together constantly, wherever I am; and allow them to form a physical presence following the intervention.
How did your connection with water transcend into an artistic medium?
In my early years I was creating strange sculptural works on coral reefs across the Caribbean, these reefs had been dynamited by locally paid fisherman, to make way for softer lapping waves on the shore for hotels that were going to be built. To me it seemed utterly devastating that the places I was so familiar with were just destroyed on day. From that point forward I have dedicated my life to creating works centred around water and its protection.
All water fascinates me, its purity is unquestioned; we do not search the stars for green aliens, we search for water - for where water lies; life lies; amongst the stars water in all its forms will provide our greatest discoveries yet.
What are your latest works inspired by?
I am working on a project titled ‘All icons are false’ a gothic homage to the stained glass window for the 21st century. The stained glass windows have had their religious totems removed, replaced with organic abstractions. Nature and science alone command such idolism, all other icons are false.
What do you think sets the London art scene apart from global cultural hubs internationally?
It forms a heady mix of ingredients that a dedicated artist can thrive in. Although it is easy to get lost in all the events, openings and socialising. Be careful to curate your own world of what to see and do, with this in mind London can feed all your creative cravings.
Every day is a new adventure in the studio, I have no idea whats next. I have chosen to work with a signature form; I took this material and made it my own; with that comes a sense of responsibility to see where it leads.
What are your 2017 New Years Resolutions?
Keep your eye on your inner world and keep away from ads, idiots and movie stars.