James Lake is a sculptor. In consultation with Barnstaple Library and following observations of how various community groups use the democratic space of the library, he created the Reading Tree, a life-size sculpture that can evolve with the seasons.
Much of James' work uses cardboard as a sculptural material due to its immediacy, ease of availability, reasonable cost and low environmental impact.
James likes to transform the utilitarian and overlooked cardboard box into a sophisticated and elaborate sculpting material, often creating three-dimensional portraits of people and anatomical models. The process and outcomes of making his work have always been intertwined with the practicalities of sculpting with a physical impairment.
In James' own words, "I want to make sculpture accessible and blur the boundary between high art and low art for all audiences. I believe in art for all; art beyond race, gender, age, wealth, ability and disability." Through his work, James seeks to find "a common truth... a sense of quiet humanity in the small details that are sometimes drowned out by the noise and brightness of contemporary culture."
Visit James' website for more information about the artist and his work.