James Lake - Biography


At the age of seventeen I developed bone cancer, resulting in 11 months of Chemotherapy and the amputation of my right leg.  The treatment was very arduous and my rehabilitation took many years.  However, during this time a growing interest in arts developed into the passion that it has now become.

When I first started making sculpture I decided to use cardboard as my medium of choice. I wanted a medium that can be used to sculpt beyond traditional material and without the need of an arts studio. The end result was the fine crafting of an inexpensive common place and recyclable material. I manipulate cardboard into taking a form which is vastly beyond its original function as a container to transport food and commercial goods.

Whilst developing my sculpture practice and working my way through a fine arts degree and PGCE (post compulsory education), it became apparent that I had chosen to work with cardboard as my preferred material because I was working to make sculpture accessible and blur the boundary between high art and low art. I believe in art for all; art beyond race, gender, age, ability and disability. This consideration evolved from the arts arena into the educational arena.
For many years I have been developing my practice in the community; running art workshops within the fields of learning disability and mental health and leading sculptural workshops within mainstream Schools as an artist in residence and diversity/inclusion artist. I am currently working on an educational resource to support sculptural arts practice in schools and colleges.