Mirrored to the Core project.
© Photo by: 2021, Copyright photo by James Paddock
James Paddock's current collaborative project Mirrored to the core will see an online premiere screening and panel discussion on the 8th December 2021 with Disability Arts Online.
PYLON, production still.
© Photo by: 2019, Copyright photo by James Paddock
PRESS RELEASE – 2019 Southampton based artist James Paddock receives Arts Council England funding for first London solo exhibition. Life’s rhythms are magnified and everything around the psychotic character is at a hyper level. The everyday is intensified and the normal journey is taken to another world, another land – a new place. Birdsong, the sea, the wind is in communication with the psychotic character – a world in which people communicate telepathically. James Paddock has been awarded Arts Council funding to develop PYLON, a new mixed media installation inspired by experiences of psychosis. The artwork will be exhibited at A-side B-side Gallery in London from 4 – 10 September 2019 as Paddock’s first London solo exhibition. The installation takes the viewer on a journey of a psychotic young woman (performed by actress and performance artist, Amber Weyman) who travels on foot, as the psychotic experience unravels. The artwork uses moving image and special audio techniques (binaural sound) to convey the psychotic experience to audiences through an immersive installation. PYLON is a continuation of Paddock’s enquiry into often-overlooked topics of contemporary society in this case mental health. Paddock says, “I wish to contribute to breaking down stigma surrounding mental illness. When people think of psychosis, they might imagine an unreality in their minds. By discussing such a difficult and often controversial topic through the medium of art I hope to offer an alternative route to understand the condition and help dispel the surrounding myths. I am pleased that Arts Council England recognised the importance of my work and the contribution it can make to tackling difficult subjects in society.” For Paddock PYLON marks an important point in his artistic career. “I’ve relished the opportunity the solo exhibition has given me to push my practice and explore new audio techniques. I have worked site-specifically and developed the sculptural element of the installation in direct response to the characteristics of the gallery space, heightening the immersive experience for the audience.” The PYLON exhibition was selected as a ‘Top 5’ exhibition by Whitechapel Gallery and Timeout First Thursdays (Out of 150 galleries) in the east of London. It was a great experience and well received.
Lost Person, production still.
© Photo by: 2018, Copyright Photo by James Paddock
Lost Person has been exhibited so far in Southampton and London, England and was also part of curator Diana Ali's exhibition Loss and Lucidity (The lost and found) being exhibited in California, USA and two shows in Lisbon, Portugal, including at the Appleton Box. ABOUT THE LOST PERSON VIDEO INSTALLATION: After various conversations with mental health professionals, it seems there is a widespread problem in British society today with people suffering from mental illness and social isolation. Since the 1980’s, ‘Care in the Community’ has been the primary means of treating physically and mentally disabled people outside of the institution, and within the safety of their own home. However, their entrapment remains unavoidable. Rather be imprisoned within an institution, these individuals are caged within their own homes, closing their curtains and hiding themselves away from the world. These people soon become lost within a culture and society that is otherwise constantly accelerating, ready to turn a blind eye to any obstacle in its path. ‘Lost Person’ is a moving image installation, designed to embody this struggle. The character we are introduced to is screaming out for help, but his words are muted. His voice has been taken away, and our only means of hearing him is through the subtitles that appear silently at the bottom of the screen. He is is another lost person. We hear British sitcom style characters with canned laughter showing a dark side of British society. The film suggests an underlying dislike by the characters for the vulnerable. Their comedic nature is awkward and uncomfortable to listen to, as if they are there to taunt the man on the screen. We ask, are the voices real or are they a figment of the man’s imagination? Is this juxtaposition of comedy and suffering intended to mock and humiliate? We hear life carrying on outside his window, whilst the character is in isolation. The installation incites us to examine and understand the harsh nature of mental health, as we sit helplessly on the side-line.
Shells exhibition (Installation view)
© Photo by: 2017, Copyright Photo by James Paddock
Press Release: ‘ Shells’ new film installations on display at exhibitions in Eastleigh and Farnham April 2017 for immediate use Shells, unique film installations by visual artist James Paddock will be showcased at two curated exhibitions at The Production House, The Sorting Office, Eastleigh (19-24 April) and Black Box project space, UCA Farnham (7-15 June). The two, interweaving moving-image installations celebrate uniqueness and acceptance for people who live with mental health conditions. The first installation, entitled ‘blinds’, will feature footage of a young girl (Hattie Gotobed, who plays Ghita in Game of Thrones), and an older man (Dean Kilbey, an experienced television and film actor) debating the existence and prominence of their own “shells”. This video work sees a man in dialogue with a youth about our exact moment in time. The man bridges both the analogue and digital age and also the reality before, and our current digital realities. The video itself will then be projected onto venetian blinds, which represent the fact that we view reality through our own imperfect perceptions. The second installation, which is called ‘nets’, is a more direct exploration of the stigma surrounding mental illness, which looks at famous people throughout history who suffered from mental illness, featuring stock imagery projected onto ragged nets. This installation features a voice-over by Nigel Bradshaw (Dennis Cruickshank in Prisoner: Cell Block H).
James Paddock is an artist with long-term mental health issues, Schizophrenia, who has been practicing for 6 years and made considerable progress creatively, having previously being on a medication that did not lend itself well to arts practice. His artwork and knowledge about delivering arts activities develops with each new project he undertakes.
He uses mixed media, video, installation and conceptual art to focus on overlooked matters in contemporary society such as loneliness and isolation, the human condition and mental health. Narratives within his art are informed by his history and lived health condition. He likes to fuse the schizophrenic condition with different scenarios we experience as humans in life.
Examples of artistic work includes being funded by Arts Council England for two moving image artworks SHELLS (2017) and PLYON (2019).
SHELLS is a film installation that celebrates uniqueness and acceptance for people who live with mental health conditions showcased at two curated exhibitions at The Production House, Eastleigh and Black Box project space, University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Farnham.
PYLON is a thought-provoking a mixed media installation that demystifies the lived experience of someone who has psychosis, a condition often misunderstood. PYLON was my first solo exhibition in London at A-side B-side Gallery, which was selected by Whitechapel Gallery and Timeout, as a top 5 exhibition, out of 150 East London First Thursday galleries.
Recently he was awarded an Artist Bursary from a-n The Artists Information Company to explore how he can use his lived experience of Schizophrenia to work with researchers in mental health within my practice.
In 2021, he was awarded funding for his current project Mirrored to the core, by Arts Council England. MTTC is a video artwork with an operatic twist.
He graduated with a BA Fine Art degree, studying at Cardiff School of Art & Design and Winchester School of Art.
He has exhibited at the Espacio Gallery, London; Chelsea College of Arts, Appleton Box, Lisbon; ROA Gallery, London.
James facilitates discussion and gives talks to audiences interested in art and mental health. He works with a team who help him present his thoughts, ideas and artworks to the viewing public.
Lost Person 2018 by James Paddock
The 'Shells' exhibition, with the 'Blinds' and 'Nets' installations by James Paddock
PYLON is a video mixed media installation by artist James Paddock that deals with the topic of Psychosis or precisely Schizophrenia.
Taking the viewer on a journey with a psychotic young woman Lilly who travels on foot as a psychotic experience unravels.
The artwork uses moving image and special audio techniques (binaural sound) to convey the psychotic experience.