James Rawson U.K., b. 1989
James Rawson is a multi-disciplinary artist. His esoteric paintings and charcoal works explore a world of primal matter and familiar structures with unknown originsthat blur the lines between sculpture and painting. As the artist states: 'Charcoal has always been a fundamental artist’s material, it was even used by our earliest ancestors to make cave art, creating a feeling of connection to our history when you use it. However, we also have a much greater spiritual connection to this material. Charcoal is almost pure carbon and we are carbon-based life forms. Charcoal and humans are one and the same, two carbon objects. You could think of them like black mirrors, what you are really seeing is a representation of yourself. You are the artwork and the artwork is you.'
Rawson's material-driven process is deeply minimalist in appearance, resonating with enigmatic structures and ideal sculptural forms. His works recall the influence of Minimalism and the Gutai avant-garde movement. By placing emphasis on the process and act of artistic creation, rather than a stylised compositional narrative, Rawson's art is as conceptual as it is physical. At once, he removes the artist's gestural hand while simultaneanously conveying the physical, corporeal reality of the art object itself. Grounded with the burnt embers of charcoal, there is tactile and textured nature to the artwork, where there remains a presence a human quality of the artwork, with viewers often tempted to reach out and interact with each piece directly.