July-September 2008 Iorwen James: Artist statement

Marionette III, detail

Marionette III, detail

Marionette II, detail

Marionette II, detail

Marionette I

Marionette I

Iorwen James Still Lifes

This series of paintings of still life was made in France, summer 2007. During the winter months the barn attached James’ home in France had been adapted to make two studios – one for her and one for her husband. The artist , delighted with her new space, decided to work solely in the studio in the cool and reasonably controlled light, bringing objects that interested her in from the house to the studio and comments that: ‘Often, on stepping out of the studio into the heat and light of the garden, registering with shock the vivid colours all around, I was surprised that I had produced such quiet and monochromatic images in the cool of the barn. I hope the work can be enjoyed for its calm and simplicity.’


The first marionette series of paintings began in 2002 when Iorwen James discovered four marionettes in a flea market in France – old and worn but full of the suggestion of past glories, tragedies, comedy and vulnerability.The second series is based on the 19th century creations of Maurice Sand, son of George Sand. His marionette theatre started life in their chateau, south of Paris, where many mid 19th century artists and musicians were entertained – some contributing to the development of the theatre– Delacroix helped design sets, Chopin contributed a little music now and then – providing a fine backdrop for the enigmatic brooding characters. James’ interest has been to explore the human qualities reflected in these inanimate objects, whilst acknowledging and being drawn to their indefinable otherness and to the mystery they naturally convey.


The landscapes are a selection of work painted in Scotland, North Wales, France and Ireland over the last few years.


Left Bank Gallery, Tarland, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire


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