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.
- Adelman Fine Art (San Diego, CA)
- Butter Gallery (Collingwood, ON)
- Earl’s Court Gallery (Hamilton, ON)
- Petroff Gallery (Toronto, ON)
- Spence Gallery (Toronto, ON)
- The Laffer Gallery (Schuylerville, NY)
AND THERE YOU WERE AND YOU WERE FLYING
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.
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.
The finished product The last day of wire twisting
THERE IS A JOY THAT CONFOUNDS AND A BEAUTY THAT EMBRACES – A Prayer Machine
JAMES PATERSON, 2016
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.