Sandra James

By Fiona Robinson, Evolver, September 1, 2015

Sandra James’ sculptures, small forty to fifty centimetre high structures, are deceptive. At first glance they are reassuringly smooth. Elegant plaster forms whose pristine white edges contain areas painted with shiny black enamel paint, creating flat richly dark centres with a depth which visually destabilizes the viewer. But move around this work, observe it from a different angle and you are confronted with a gritty unfinished, friable surface. James has developed a technique fusing plaster, enamel gate paint and builder’s sharp sand. These three apparently incompatible materials, intentionally suggest levels of human interaction and experience, the unexpected combination highlighting an inherent risk of deterioration. She exploits the fragility, in terms of longevity, of both the ordinary everyday materials she is using and relationships between people. These are forms that mirror the unremarkable day-to-day functioning of human relationships, posing the question: value or futility? ……….

…….A choice well made since it resulted in her being awarded the Somerset Art Works one year Bursary in conjunction with Cavaliero Finn to develop her work within the context of the marketplace. So essentially it launched her career, post degree.

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