James Paterson (b. 1957) has been an “Imagineer” for as long as he can remember. Visions from the culturally diverse and visually textured Kensington Market neighborhood of Toronto in which he grew up have surfaced in the unique wire sculptures he is creating today. These ambiguous machine-like objects made of twisted bits of wire invite the viewer into a relationship through their moving parts, expressing ideas that are redemptive while attempting to give expression to mystery.

“I like to approach my art with a simple sense of wonder. I live in a world of many moving parts. A squatter in the machine, I live and move and have my being in the midst of it all, strands of wire tracing my world, the cartography of my mind”

Splashes of color add to the joy and delight of these whimsical wire structures employing a technique Paterson has developed himself.

His pieces appeal to collectors the world over and have been commissioned by The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, The University of Cleveland Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio and the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital of Stanford, California.

Prayer Machine 370 SOLD. It Talks And It Talks And It Talks And All I Have To Do Is Listen. Wire Sculpture by James Paterson, Ontario, Canada
SOLD 370. It Talks And It Talks And It Talks And All I Have To Do Is Listen 98 x 72 x 24 inches


Wire Sculpture by James Paterson, Ontario, Canada
381. And There You Were And You Were Flying – A Prayer Machine. Wire Sculpture commissioned for the Cardiac wing of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Palo Alto, California. 2018-19. 60 x 36 x 1.5 inches


I’d forgotten my hope at the house with the yellow door I lived in

‘til the wheels of everything that moves and the ladders

I used to climb to play in the sky reminded me.

The meandering vine with orange ball kisses

that blossomed a newborn moon each night

and the touch of breeze, like a sigh,

from the lips of the woman who spied on those who danced

on high wires above tippy, pointy roofed houses on the street

were there as I flew on my bike when I was young and could still see

 rocket ships fly to the reaching clouds that yearned to embrace them.

Words like colours floated around me and I remembered there was love.

Then joy.

And there you were, and you were flying.

by James Paterson

“There Is A Joy That Confounds And A Beauty   That Embraces”

This piece was commissioned by and installed at The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning-Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.


Day 12 - James with finished skeleton

The finished product                                                                         The last day of wire twisting



Mixed Media

Intangibles; fragments that knit us together, ambiguous, full of mystery.  They compose us, these many interconnected systems functioning in complex ways, yet linked together in ordered harmony making us more than the sum of our parts.

My Prayer Machines are like that; teeming with varied lines, forms and colours they weave together diverse elements that create a synergy; fearfully and wonderfully made.




6 thoughts on “Home

  1. Are you the same Jim Paterson who did a series of “whimsical “works in the 80s and 90s in order to raise money for Christian school tuition? Only because I have a “Noah’s Ark” being built set in Toronto hanging in my house which I love done by Jim Paterson…and some little cards as well which I never use because I love them!


  2. Hi James – i just read your commentary in The Story (i write for them as well) and noticed in your bio that you are an artist so googled you. Wow! What a delight to wander through your work. Blessings to you and yours in 2018! 🙂 Marcia Laycock


  3. Paterson’s art is a mixture of everything: passion, mechanical, beauty, balance. With his small sample exhibited in Artist Project 2016, he achieved transmit the zenith of the plastic arts: the ethereal beauty.


    1. Dear Mr. Benavides.

      Thank you for your comments on my work from Feb. 2016. I am sorry it has been this long since I have seen what you thought and wrote. My wife handles all the social media and I, unfortunately, do not always take the time to review what is happening in that ethereal realm. I just ran across your comments yesterday and was very touched and encouraged by your positive view of what I am doing and your clear articulation. It may sound self centered or perhaps just blindly naive, but words and thoughts like the ones you expressed actually help me to see better and understand more fully what I am doing. My work is most often very spontaneous and part of my subconscious flow as I go through my day and I feel I don’t always see what I’m doing; I’m too close to it. But comments like yours open my eyes and help me go forward. Thank you for taking the time to write after the Toronto show in 2016. I am endeavoring to press on with work that is authentic, original, vibrant and real. I hope you can see more of what I am doing and perhaps we will meet up at a show some where’s down the road.

      all the best,



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