Working with the medium of cardboard for its immediacy, availability and low environmental impact, James Lake creates elaborate and sophisticated sculptures that push the material far beyond its normal utilitarian purposes. Life size, three dimensional portraits or people and animals, anatomical models, furniture and a monumental-scale commission for Lucca Biennale 2018 have all been executed in his inimitable style.
Lake began working with cardboard as a teenager; at age seventeen he was diagnosed with bone cancer, and following the amputation of his right leg he searched for an accessible and readily available material that he could work with from his bedroom while rehabilitating.
Ingrained in Lake’s process is the desire to teach and demonstrate his techniques. Working with schools and community groups, cutting across all ages and abilities, Lake explains that he wants to “make sculpture accessible and blur the boundary between high art and low art. I believe in art for all; art beyond race, gender, age, ability and disability.”