Banner Image: James Lake 'Sitting Without Purpose' (1998)


Affiliation with Shape: Exhibiting artist in the Shape Open exhibition across the years and featured in our Shape Gallery, 1 January - 31 December 2013. His work 'Sitting Without Purpose' is part of our Shape Collection.

James Lake was announced as one of the recipients of the Henry Moore Foundation's Artist Awards in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Sculpture made of cardboard representing a person looking at their mobile phone. Their chest is a cavity filled with sprawling tree branches also made from cardboard.

Effects of Lockdown (2020) 

Made during the first lockdown in response to impact on young people, particularly my 16-year-old son. This life size cardboard sculpture was made possible thanks to the Henry Moore Foundation Artist Awards 2020 in response to Covid-19 pandemic.

Statement from Shape

"Capturing the fragility of our time is no simply task, especially not with everyday materials, but somehow sculptor James Lake has managed to breathe life into a description of our time as well as a moment of passage for his son in this most stunning and poignant of modellings.

We are delighted that James’ talent was recognised by the Henry Moore Foundation this summer, who made him an award from their new fund supporting the 'future of sculpture', assisting artists at a time when other sources of income might no longer be available. As longstanding supporters of James and his practice, we were very proud to nominate him for this award, and the resulting sculpture, is, we think, a beautiful and touching testament to his skill, passion and commitment as a contemporary artist."

Lucca Biennale (2018)

This cardboard sculpture is approximately three times life-size. Made during the Summer of 2018 at the Lucca Biennale Cardboard Art Festival. I was awarded the lifetime achievement award for continued development within the medium of cardboard.

Artist Statement 

I choose to work with cardboard as a sculptural material due to its properties of it being recyclable, low cost, readily available and locally sourced. My intention is to produce sculptures which echo the detail and the depth found within traditional sculpting materials at a time of great time of global economic and environmental upheaval. My work is a search for a common truth and to find a sense of quiet humanity in the small details that are sometimes drowned out by the noise and brightness of contemporary culture.

Transforming the utilitarian and overlooked cardboard box into a sophisticated and elaborate sculpting material. Like the portrait painter, cardboard does not require several complex processes to make the finished work, this limited palette keeps the process organic and flexible.

 Photograph of a man working in an art studio, creating a ginormous sculpture of a man out of cardboard.

Lucca Biennale (2018)

The process and outcomes have always been intertwined with the practicalities of making work with a physical impairment; I lost my right leg to cancer. Working within the social model of disability, I share my process as a way of subtlety breaking down barriers for others. My work pieces fragments of visual information together, strategically positioning pieces in a grand jigsaw puzzle, echoing the problem-solving skills that all dyslexics, of which I am one, develop to write things down.

Sculpture made of cardboard representing a person looking at their mobile phone. Their chest is a cavity filled with sprawling tree branches also made from cardboard.

Effects of Lockdown (2020)

There is an immediacy and accessibility to the work I make that I have taught and demonstrated on many occasions.

I believe in art for all, art beyond wealth, race, gender, age, ability, and disability. 

'The Art of Recycling' Greenlight Digital Production (2017) for Packaging Company - Rajapak

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