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Blog - James Lake

Hello, I am James Lake – a disabled artist based in Exeter


portrait photo of a man with thin rimmed glasses looking away from the camera with cardboard flowers in the backgroundHi everyone, my name is James Lake. I thought I would do an introductory blog post to share a little about me as a disabled artist working from Exeter, England. 

I am a sculptor and I work with cardboard. The things I make depend on the context: whether I am engaged in my artist practice; or as a self-employed workshop practitioner; or if I am just using the process as a pain-relieving activity. I am dyslexic and physically disabled. I lost my right leg to an aggressive form of bone cancer – both these factors profoundly influence how I create art and how I work with others.

As a person and as a disabled artist, I believe in equal opportunities – both physical and financial. The work I make considers the value of art, humanity and the environment. The social and psychological aspects of my work, although sometimes seen as covert, have always been present, intertwined with the nature of my disability and the way my dyslexia has led me to problem solve and adapt to find solutions for my art practice. I have been called a pioneer of my artform and at times have also been considered irrelevant.

I make sculpture like a painter paints a canvas. I work with a simple palette of tools and create my work organically… I never know exactly how the work will develop as the work always comes into focus over time. What some may see as a limitation with my practice feels like freedom to me. I am not shackled to the requirements of others in order to express myself.

Over the course of the next few months, I will introduce my work and working practice more. At the end of 2020 I received a project grant from Arts Council England and so I am currently in the process of creating a new website, which I will share in my next blog post. For now please find me on instagram HERE and facebook HERE

Please get in touch should you have any further questions at this stage, and I look forward to connecting with you.

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Annie Kirk
6 months ago

Great to find your first blog here, James. We are so lucky to have you regularly to visit schools (primary and secondary) to lead Helen Foundation workshops for hugely enthused and admiring youngsters in Teignbridge. Thank you for your inspiration, every time a winner!
Love the piece you’re working on…. especially as time is hanging so heavy right now in these Covid times of lockdown and arts deprivation x

James Lake
James lake
6 months ago
Reply to  Annie Kirk

Thankyou Annie, it is always a great experience working with the Helen Foundation. The work is even more vital now with the current restrictions changing children’s experiences of art.

Last edited 6 months ago by James Lake
Richard Downes
6 months ago

welcome to the DAO blogoshere.
Always good to see a new face

Amy Zamarripa Solis
6 months ago

Hi James, I love your work!

James Lake
James lake
6 months ago

The covert website looks really good!

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