Cast aside any, I mean any preconceptions you had about collages and take a look at these. When confused at why James had labelled this series of quiet, human-less photographs “collages”, we immediately wanted to get to the bottom of it and so asked him what on earth was going on. He reassured us that they were, in fact, collages, and that each image also took an extraordinary amount of time and effort to create – not surprising really, seeing as to the unknown viewer these would look merely like some arty photographs someone had taken when on a relatively rural walk.
“The technical process is a lengthy one, to achieve the subtle realistic aesthetic I want. On average I would say each image has two to four component parts; sea, sky, grass, ground etc. Which are matched to a ‘main’ photograph. This is the first part of making an image. The second part is removing clutter; trees, cars, car park lines, clouds, boats, hills and basically everything that stops the image being lines, horizons, blocks of colour and symmetry.”
“The project is about finding, and indeed making; lines, horizons, blocks of colour and symmetry that do not exist in front of me. I read Surrealism for my thesis at university and I found it gripping. The essence, in a measly sentence, of surrealism is to take something familiar and to give it qualities that don’t quite make sense to our “everyday.” This is what I try to do, as I find its persuasive sensibilities make for a intriguing way to view the world."