James Robinson is a mixed media artist, working in oils, watercolour, Chinese brush-and-ink, block printing, ceramic and mixed-media sculpture. He's also a great bloke, works incredibly hard and enjoys inspiring (and teaching) other people to create wonderful art of their own.
"All aspects of creativity are exciting to me, both as artist and teacher: My 'thing' is the fluent movement from one process to another: I'm as comfortable sculpting a Piero Della Francesca figure for Ballet as I am sitting deep in a Sumatran jungle drawing orang-utans."
TEACHER of ART and DESIGN:
William Ellis School for Boys 1997-2002: While working here, I met a Chinese brush-and-ink specialist, who helped me build upon my passions and skills in East-Asian art.
Hardley School and Sixth Form (Head of Dept.) 2002-2011: Many happy years here working with amazing young people, but a significant bereavement in 2010 sent me on an adventure to..
NLCS Jeju in South Korea 2011- 2015: As the school's 1st ever Head of Art and Design, I had to build the dept. from scratch in empty rooms, which at first weren't even equipped with sinks [and tables and bins and clocks...]. Of course, I didn't do it alone, working with a team of talented teachers and artists, who helped unpack giant boxes so that we could inspire and extend some of the most talented and disciplined young artists we might ever work with.The post also allowed me to explore and study art across East Asia, travelling extensively to learn Indonesian batik and Japanese wood-cut from some of the region's most skilful artists.
North London Collegiate School 2015-2021:
Not all adventures can last forever and in 2015, I returned to London to lead its Art and Design Faculty. and work with a team to teach another set of inspiring and hard-working students.
It's a lovely school, but lockdown slapped me about the face, and although my dept. created and delivered wonderful online art lessons, I knew that my journey needed to continue onward and I moved to Coventry in 2021 to be part of the City of Culture.
THEATRE and EXHIBITION DESIGN:
Companies/theatres include the Royal National Theatre, Contact and Library Theatres, Manchester, Cheltenham Everyman, Harrogate Theatre, Eden Court, Inverness and Eastern Angles, designing and building sets, props and costumes for 'As You Like It', 'Aladdin', ' Peer Gynt' and many others, including working with new writing by Kay Adshead and Migdalia Cruz. Designs have explored a broad range of genres, concepts and traditions, from Manchester Rave Culture to 200BC China.
Out of the Closet into the Gallery, Nottingham 1991
Close but no settee, Cheltenham 1993
Sailing forth - a retrospective, Harbour Lights, Southampton 2010
Adventures in Ink, Jeju-do, South Korea 2013
Since 1997, I have focused most energy into my teaching, while continuing ongoing practice at home and attending workshops, developing and refining skills in ceramics, Chinese brush-and-ink, digital arts, constructive and anatomical sculpture and Ukiyo-e block printing in Japan.
But in 2022, new creative adventures begin...