Founder and creative director of PayneShurvell gallery, curator and writer
James studied Fine Arts at Central St. Martin’s and was a practicing artist for several years, showing at galleries such as Transition, Space TwoTenTwo and others.
With business partner Joanne Shurvell, he opened PayneShurvell in June 2010 with a group show, ‘A Bright and guilty Place’, which showcased thirteen artists and was curated by James and the artist Dermot O’Brien. The starting point for this exhibition was the concept of mapping and the ways in which artists explore the notion of mapping and cartography in their work. The show was very much a way of launching artists that the gallery wanted to work with on future shows. Since then the gallery has very much been focusing on one-person shows.
The policy of the gallery is to bridge the gap between an artist-run space and a commercial gallery, showcasing emerging UK and international artists and featuring work from all media. Many of the artists shown have international reputations but are little known in the UK. Some of the artists are recent graduates who are mixed with more established artist, curators, musicians, architects and others who challenge traditional notions of art.
Collaboration is an important part of PayneShurvell’s work process. They work closely with outside curators, including Beverley Knowles, Michael Petry (of MOCA), Mark Jackson (of IMT), Michael Hall (Parfitt gallery) and Neville Brody. They also have promoted first time curators such as Edward Vince and Andrew Curtis. They have worked closely with other galleries such as a joint show with MOCA, Sir John Soane’s museum, Upstream (Amsterdam) and Crim’art (Milan).
PayneShurvell are also involved in a program of free talks, lectures and tours as a way of promoting contemporary art, as well as publishing affordable editions.
James is also the film editor of Garageland and has interviewed several of his heroes including John Waters, Terence Davies and Ken Russell.