Ann-Marie James

My practice, which encompasses painting, drawing, sculptural intervention and photography, employs quotation to explore my relationship with both the specific source material that I appropriate, and the history of the discipline in which I am working. I am interested in taking something that already has an established cultural reading that I can wrestle with, adapt, exploit, examine and transform. Operating within the existing aesthetic of a pre-existing image or object, I aim to make something that is both in keeping with, and at odds with, the nature of its source. Drawing upon cultural artifacts that, over time, have been widely considered to be revered, established, accomplished, poetic, beautiful or sublime, I seek to explore their transmutation to form new composites - a dry conceptual approach that is contrasted with a visceral aesthetic. Within my practice, aspects of purloined pictorial elements from art history are veiled, conjoined, contorted, revealed, emphasized, interpreted, translated, explored, repeated, omitted and manipulated, imbuing them with a new spirit to my own ends. The hybrids that I have constructed have so far taken the form of small paintings on found book plates, pencil drawings, large scale paintings and photographic documentation of interventions made (with permission) at the Museum of Classical Archaeology at Cambridge University. Most recent is the series A dragging languor spread - a painting in acrylic and ink on canvas, and a number of related drawings. These works are based upon the myth of Apollo and Daphne - pictorially, they draw upon Bernini's eponymous sculpture, which led me in turn to Ovid's Metamorphoses, an epic poem to which a number of Bernini's works refer. I like the symmetry of the transformation of the oral poem to the linguistic text to carved stone and back to paper, a metamorphosis of Ovid's Metamorphoses. read full statement

Location London