James Lancaster

After gaining the equivalent of a degree in Graphic Design in 1984 Lancaster worked as a Photographic Hand Printer in London for eight years, producing large exhibition prints and aerial survey photography. In 1992, it could be said, the drive to explore his art took over. In his drawings the human body – most often the female form – is the central motif. These intensely wrought works are characteristically orchestrated around a central, diaphanous form, which simultaneously emerges from and is enveloped by a limitless void. The forever-nascent figure is the residue of the struggle to engage directly with the inner mystery of things.

In both his drawings and visionary video work, Lancaster often takes representations of the body so far that it is no longer recognisable, yet still alive and imbued with a tangible presence. He tells how he imagines the body ‘glimpsed in the instance of some sensual delirium, as though powerful emotions could alter perception and vision’, and radiating a strange kind of light suggestive of ‘something we are not consciously aware of’.


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