Myths and misinformation have troubled ‘voice hearing’ citizens since the 19th Century in the UK and other parts of the Western World. James Paddock uses video and installation artwork to challenge historic societal mistruths along with today’s stigma in relation to this mental health condition. People journeying though life with the condition can be thoughtful by nature, enabling voice hearers to question existence with ease in many circumstances.
Historically creative output does not correlate with how voice hearers are seen today. We know Sir Isaac Newton (scientist), Buddy Bolden (inventor of jazz), Vaslav Nijinsky (ballet dancer and choreographer) and John Nash (Nobel Prize winning
Mathematician) journeyed similar existences and lived with voices. All being labelled with what the medical profession would call ‘Schizophrenia’.
Today, James fuses the surreal nature of voice hearing (With diagnoses of Schizophrenia) with everyday narratives about the lives of people living in the UK and other western countries. His investigations continue with self-reflection and research. Beginning with a seed of an idea his studio practice involves collaborative working with a team of ethical filmmakers, producers, artists/creatives and actors to realise his work. James’ early experiences of life led to a challenging journey through the education system, not beginning his studies in earnest until his early twenties. By that time James had built up a wealth of unconventional experiences which in part informs his current practice.
Selected exhibition history includes: Life could be done so much better, solo exhibition at the Exeter Phoenix, Exeter, England, United Kingdom, from 18th November, 2023 until 4th February, 2024. Development of Mirrored to the Core. The Making Room Residency ‘a space’ arts, Southampton UK (2022); PYLON (solo show), A-side B-side Gallery, London, UK (2019); Loss & Lucidity (The Lost&Found), curated by Diana Ali, Santora Space205, Santa Ana, California, USA, also toured to Fabrica Braco de Prata and the Appleton in Lisbon, Portugal (2018) and Blinds (solo Show), Blackbox Project Space, UCA Farnham, UK (2017). James Paddock’s exhibitions and projects have been repeatedly funded by Arts Council England since 2017.
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James paddock’s History and today
1996-99 Cardiff School of Art and Design, B.A. Fine Arts, 2:1 (Hons)
1995-96 Winchester School of Art, Foundation Diploma
2023 – present, The University of Southampton, Doctorate in Psychology, Expert by Experience staff member: Duties include teaching/lecturing, being on interview panels and helping to shape trainee research projects.
2022 – 2023 Peer Critiquing Sessions for Artquest (University of the Arts London)
2016 – present, Co-writes courses and co-facilitates courses for the NHS, Mental Health Recovery College
Exhibitions/ Projects/ Events/ Residencies
- Life could be done so much better, solo exhibition at the Exeter Phoenix, Exeter, England, United Kingdom, from 18th November, 2023 until 4th February, 2024
- Exquisite Codes, Bla-Bla Projektraum, Soldiner Straße 103, 13359 Berlin, Germany.
- Art-teenth, Court Square Exchange, 211 State Street Bridgeport, CT, 06604, USA
- Maria Tsakos Cultural Foundation (group show), Chios, Greece
- Pause for thought (group show), The Shoe Factory, Norwich, UK
- Crossing Thresholds Research: Art Beyond the Threshold of Ordinary Consciousness, Co-Researcher, Liverpool John Moores University and the Alef Trust
- Development of Mirrored to the Core. The Making Room Residency ‘a space’ arts, Southampton UK
- Development of Mirrored to the Core. Testing Space ‘a space’ arts, Southampton UK.
- Collaborative project involving artists, researchers, and neuroscientists at a world leading university, to create an innovative London based public engagement programme
- PYLON (solo show), Blackbox Project Space, UCA, Farnham, UK
- PYLON (solo show), A-side B-side Gallery, London, UK (selected as a “top 5” exhibition by Whitechapel Gallery and Timeout out of 150 East London Galleries)
- Loss & Lucidity (The Lost & Found), curated by Diana Ali, Santora Space205, Santa Ana, California, USA (also toured to Fabrica Braco de Prata and the Appleton in Lisbon, Portugal)
- Passion for Freedom, ROA Gallery, Pall Mall, London, UK
- (In)visible, Espacio Gallery, London, UK
- Blinds, The Chelsea College of Arts, London, UK
- Real / Virtual Festival, curated by Geraldine Atger, Ugly Duck, Tanner St, London, UK
- Blinds (solo Show), Blackbox Project Space, UCA Farnham, UK
- Shells, (solo Show), Production House, Eastleigh, UK
- Bad Behaviour Open, Brixton East Gallery, London, UK
- National Open Art exhibition (NOA), Mercers Hall, London, UK
- All in One, Chiari, Italy
- NN Contemporary Art, open exhibition, Northampton, UK
- Arts Council England 2023-2024 for Life could be done so much better
- The JUST Art Awards, 2023, Highly Commended
- Art Council England in 2021-2022 for Mirrored to the Core
- a-n, Artists Information Company Bursary for research related to Mirror to the Core
- Arts Council England 2019 for PYLON
- Arts Council England 2017 for Shells