In June and July 2017, James undertook an artist residency at Popps Packing in Hamtramck, Detroit, USA. Exploratory and process-based works made during this residency form the body of the exhibition titled indeterminate duration at Neon Parlour.
Inspired by water marks, stains and rust encountered within abandoned spaces in Detroit, James initially responded by using found materials such as charcoal and ash from burnt houses, mulberries, and dirty water from an intervention in a house in Hamtramck, to assemble process-based compositions on canvas. A polished piece of burnt timber and a photograph of an intervention in an abandoned building in Detroit’s Eastern Market district, evoke further concepts of time and duration.
Two further works are included in indeterminate duration. The first is a large pile of ash and dust – a collection of twenty-three years of detritus in James’ studio, which has been burnt as a ceremonious purging as the artist approaches his fortieth birthday. During the exhibition, this collection of material will move slowly from one side of the gallery to the other, foregrounding duration; immersion in time as flow. Also included is one large painting that uses the ash and charcoal from his studio burning, mimicking similar processes used in Detroit.
The residency at Popps Packing, Hamtramck, USA 2017 and the exhibition at Neon Parlour are supported by d___Lab, School of Architecture & Design, RMIT University, through its SRF Funds.