profile image

James Payne

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.

A Bit Of Luxury - Parisian Style

There is nothing like Paris for a weekend of art. In London, I'm ten minutes from King's Cross so the Eurostar makes it easier for me to get to Paris than to get to Peckham. There is no end to exciting and innovative galleries and that's what I came for, using Le Meurice as a hideaway from the crowds and noise.
30/08/2017 14:46 BST

Marion Wagschal: An Extraordinary Artist

Marion Wagschal's new show at Canada House is her first ever show in the UK. Relatively unknown outside of North America, the latest exhibition at Canada house is of paintings created between 1980 and 2015. Hopefully this fantastic show will bring her to the attention of a wider audience.
08/02/2016 22:53 GMT

Landscapes That Pass Over in Silence

<em>At the Edges</em> celebrates the exquisite. A 'place' where reflection, commonly associated with the experience of landscape, actually becomes a part of the work as in the work of Gary Colclough. This exhibition addresses itself at what is usually regarded as an undemanding and exhausted genre of painting.
22/03/2013 18:44 GMT

V&A Ban Students!

Well not exactly 'ban' (that was just to get your attention) but they are changing the rules as to what students are allowed to do on their premises. Sketchpads in the temporary exhibitions are no longer allowed.
19/03/2013 16:24 GMT

Floored in Peckham

<strong><strong>Simon Linington</strong> and <strong>William Mackrell</strong> are both individual artists who do collaborative work as well as their own. Now, for MOCA in Peckham they are presenting <em>Floor</em>, a site-specific work that confounds expectations.</strong>
21/11/2012 12:51 GMT

Ten Years of Transition

Transition Gallery was opened in a converted garage close to Victoria Park, Hackney, by artist Cathy Lomax and celebrates its tenth year this week. Now based in Regent studios near Bethnal Green, Transition continues to be an innovative part of the East London arts scene.
25/10/2012 12:55 BST

Friezing Out East

The Olympics may be over but we still have that four-day feat of endurance known as Frieze Art Fair coming up.
14/09/2012 17:09 BST

Spilt Milk and Unknown Artists

It is degree show time and years of slogging away over a hot easel/editing desk/chainsaw/laptop culminate in a brief spell in the public limelight as thousands of strangers along with your confused mum and dad gawp at wot you did when you was at school.
15/06/2012 17:21 BST

Humour is a Feminist Issue

As well as the comparisons with the usual bunch of female artists, Sarah Maple has also been compared to Russell Brand! In this day and age, humour is sometimes deemed as frivolous and the art world has long accepted only 'serious' work as worthy of judgement.
20/02/2012 14:18 GMT

Dan Cox - Marking the Death of Another London Cyclist

A year ago today a young man I knew became another statistic. One of the 16 cyclists killed on London's roads last year. Two-thirds of which were (like him) killed by HGVs. The majority of these deaths (like his) happened after large vehicles turned across the cyclist's path.
01/02/2012 21:57 GMT

In the Beginning... Daniel Rapley's 'Bible'

Sixty-six books, 1,189 chapters, 31,102 verses, 783,137 words, 3,116,480 characters. For the last 18 months, artist Daniel Rapley has been writing the King James Bible by hand, on standard feint ruled notepaper, using a ballpoint pen.
26/01/2012 22:11 GMT

Homophobia in the Arts

The number of gay teens bullied is on the rise in America as are the number of suicides. This reckless attitude towards the LGBT community by artists is their prerogative, but a public institution really should know better.
20/12/2011 23:27 GMT

You *Can* Polish a Turd

As an antidote to hideous Christmas visuals here is a round up of five of the best art shows in London. Be quick though as some of them are just about to close...
12/12/2011 15:16 GMT

Art Curation: Lip Gloss, Suffragettes and Cowboys

In the second of a series of blogs on how gallery shows are put together, I spoke to the artist Andrew Curtis, who curated our current group show <em>Your Garden is Looking a Mess Could You Please Tidy it up.</em>
22/11/2011 00:01 GMT

There's no Business Like an Art Show's Business

People often ask how we choose artists and curators, decide on shows, make press contacts etc. In the first of a series, I will attempt to explain the inner workings of a gallery and hopefully demystify how small independent galleries like ours put shows together.
28/10/2011 23:59 BST

Ghosts of Deutsche Bank Past

Visiting Frieze this year it was hard to remember that only a sliver of fabric stands between the people involved in the Occupy Wall St. Movement and the ultra-wealthy collectors whose families really do occupy Wall St.
18/10/2011 23:58 BST

Frieze Framed

It's that time of year again when art dealers polish their large, structurally pronounced eyewear and flog their wares in tent city. The art world's marathon, Frieze Art Fair is back.
11/10/2011 23:04 BST