Compact abstract paintings on canvas draw you in to an intricate fantasy world of colour spectrums, twisting kaleidoscopes and glitter, where the fluid movement of thick acrylic paint is captured in glistening textured surfaces. The imagination wanders amongst swirling paint to find order in the chaos, with shapes morphing into surreal creatures and landscapes. Evocatively described as ”jewellery on canvas”, “ice cream” and “candy made in dreams”, the sensuous and soothing paintings are a sight to behold and treasure.
Figurative sgrafitto works depict luminous city skylines and trees in acrylic on paper. Layers of painted are scratched through to reveal what is underneath, giving the impression of atmospheric night scenes.
This sense of wonder and discovery is a great source of inspiration that drives him develop his artistic practice.
" My journey started 10 years ago when I found myself homeless. I've struggled throughout my life, but nothing prepares you for a life on the streets. Surviving each day and night, that's what it's all about. Not knowing what's next. A life outside of life. First you think it's just a dream and then it hits you. There is no comfort or joy, just pain and sorrow. I am thankful because it opened a door for me. A path that led me to where I am. I joined an art therapy class in a day centre. I taught myself different techniques and soon fell in love with art. Art saved my life.
I’ve exhibited with Café Art. I now live in my own flat. I’ve started my own business as a self-employed artist. I’m Artist in Residence at Diorama Arts Centre. And now have my own exhibition at Outpost. That's how far I have come. My name is James Gray, I am an artist and I dream in colour”
Peter Bedford Housing Association (PBHA) are proud to work in partnership with Café Art to provide a platform for James Gray at Outpost, as part of PBHA’s Big Lottery funded Supporting Makers programme. The programme provides support for artists and makers experiencing barriers to accessing the art world.