Paperman, Lucca Biennale, Italy, 2018

Size: 300x300x300cm

I was invited to work in Italy to participate in the outdoor cardboard sculpture exhibition and competition held in the medieval walled city of Lucca. The event was part of a world-renowned cardboard and paper sculpting festival that attracts international artists every two years. All eight participants had four weeks to create and complete a sculpture to exhibit in one of Lucca piazzas, which had to fall under the 2018 theme ‘Chaos and Silence.’ My son flew out to help me for a period too.

The finished sculpture ‘Paperman’ is a seated self-portrait. I chose to do this as it represents me making artwork in my garage. The giraffes around me symbolise frailty of the environment and have been the subject of many school projects across the years. You can also see on the floor in front of me cardboard representations of the equipment and tools that I use in my work. The whole of my experience was documented in a short film titled ‘Paperman’ by Metropolis Productions, which is currently being screened at International Film Festivals.

You can watch the trailer below and read more about the film here:

“James Lake is an extraordinary example of what an artist should be. Not only his personal research is outstanding, his dedication to work and art and personal will are also impressive. The depth of his reasoning around the meaning of art and his act of making are inspirational. Working alongside him has been an honor and pleasure for the entire Lucca Biennale Team.” Emiliano Galigani, Lucca Biennale Director