This work was created within a velvet lined tank of highly purified water. It is a remarkably complex and precise process that can take months of set-up just to produce a single photograph, and has taken the artist over a decade to perfect. The butterflies featured are bred by the artist, placed in a state of suspended animation and then delicately placed in the water. Once removed from the water, they will spring back to life unfazed and ready to create the next generation for James to photograph.
As quoted in the New Statesman:
"James likes leaving viewers “unsettled” and a little unsure of what they are looking at: “Regardless of the size, the subtlety of the works is very much a device used to allow deception to occur. By deception I mean that nine out of ten people that see the works for the first time think they are, in fact, paintings.”
We were delighted to present two examples of James's beautifully made works in our January 2021 auction of Contemporary & Post-War Art.
Characterised by competitive bidding, strong results and a high selling rate, our Contemporary & Post-War Art sales are among our most popular auctions. Held three times a year in our Scottish saleroom, highlights are also regularly exhibited in our London gallery. Our strong private client base and excellent international marketing reach has seen these sales grow into flagships of our company.