Men With Glasses is an ongoing collection, which began in 2013 as a cheeky foray into the way we view status, gender, relationships, and looks. Since then, well over 1000 heads have been collected, numbered and stored in an analogue Tinder of the past. Over five years of collecting has evolved into an in-depth analysis of stalking, hoarding and obsession. Men With Glasses represents an ideal that will never be fulfilled, husband-hunting at its darkest. Collected on mass, Men With Glasses creates a dark and dirty love nest of all the potential suitors a girl could, would, should have.
The Tarot collection is an ongoing project that references the original Rider-Waite tarot deck illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith, first published in 1910. Used as an exercise in composition and symbolism, these works aim to celebrate and investigate the use of semiotics in the practise of discerning meaning.
In the broader context of James’ practice, symbols, signs and signifiers are collected and categorised by item, size, colour. Flowers, gemstones, weapons, hands, tools, structures and of course, a continued parallel collection of Men with Glasses.
Pieces are sourced from found books, with a preference for particular paper stock and eras of publishing, usually pre 1980. Particular authors and photographers are prized features in my collection, with Allan Seale taking pride of place as a co-conspirator in floral collections. Multiples of the same publication are used, with delight found in tonal variations across prints.
Images are cut with a sterile medical scalpel (number 11 blade) that is changed the moment it starts to catch on the paper. Once cut, images are categorised and stored, sometimes for years, until the composition is ready to begin.
With a practice informed by intuition, collection and composition, Lucy James’ work spans drawing, painting and collage. Armed with a medical scalpel, James harvests images from discarded and forgotten books, recontextualising them into carefully composed hybrids of form and meaning. Touching on issues of inherited folklore, the exploitation of natural resources and relationships with the body, her work evokes fantasies emerging from the vast expanse of our collective imagination. Sometimes humorous and often absurd, her work brings the viewer into a dreamscape where reality is ambiguous, space defies gravity and history is rewritten.
James has exhibited nationally and internationally, with artwork housed in private collections in Australia, Japan, the USA and the UK. She has been a contributor to inaugural publications such as Cat People magazine and the Key of Sea journal, and is one half of the married artist duo Bonus Card.
To see a full listing of Lucy’s work in More is More, click here.