James Paterson

Artist Statement/Biography

‘Prayer Machines’

Much of work of James Paterson ponders questions of a spiritual nature; his aim being that his art would be redemptive – an allegory on ordinary life that reveals the reality of God in the world. Over the course of his career he has worked in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional mediums and often likes to incorporate moving elements in his work that will engage the viewer in a tactile way.

Of his new body of work, ‘Prayer Machines’, James says: “These wire ‘drawing-like’ sculptural pieces are an expression of my desire to go beyond the arbitrariness of verbal language and imagine what prayer would look like if I could see it. In a fleeting sort of way these whimsical ‘machines’ begin to capture in visual essence, like an elusive butterfly, the prayers that are my meagre attempt to communicate with my Creator.”

James and his wife Lynn recently spent three years as dorm parents at the Black Forest Academy in Germany and are currently in the process of moving from the GTA to rural Ontario with the hope that further artistic inspiration, in the midst of God’s wonderful creation, will abound.

James Paterson (b. 1957 in Saskatchewan) grew up in the Kensington Market area of Toronto. He received a fine art degree from the University of Waterloo, and taught art at the elementary and high school levels before leaving to pursue art full time in 1989. James has shown across Canada and the United States as well as in Europe.

In July, 2013, at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, James won Best of Sculpture (honourable mention) and will be part of the upcoming ‘Best of Show’ at the First Canadian Place in Toronto in January. Residents of the Niagara Region may also have seen his wearable Prayer Machines “performed” on the runway at the STRUTT Wearable Art Show the past two years under the name of The Ministry of Visual Information.

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