A man of “mixed business”, James Gordon is a Sydney based illustrator, fine artist, event creative director, and paper cut artist amongst other things.
Inspired so many things, James loves Bob, his dog, but he also adores all pinks, donkeys, vodka, violets, ribbons, old Volkswagens, Yamba, brown paper, white paper, New York, HERMES, roses, roast chook, willie-wag-tails, Sorrento (Vic), white porcelain, Monet, Degas, Patti Labelle, Vespas, warm bread, Barcelona, peaches, Billecart-Salmon bubbles, cut glass, Belgian linen and hat to name a few!
James was one of the exhibiting artists at the Paper Trail, Byron Bay in May this year. We thought we would bring James online to share his inspirational world with you all.
How would you describe your work?
How do you come up with an idea for creating a paper sculpture?
Always loved snipping bits of paper from when a little. I vividly recall scribbling and snipping paper as a child to make a circus as my Mum couldn’t afford to take my brothers and I to the real one that had arrived in town.
What inspires you?
I could fill two pages with what inspires me ! Anything & everything….A line from a book, an ant, bob my dog, a petal, a leaf, a cloud , a horse, a feather, and dreams are really helpful!!
Which other artists inspire you?
I love the work of the guy who does skeletons and building coming out of one sheet of paper … Can’t think of his name and adore Monet, Degas, and Leonardo Da V.
Is there something special about the paper you use?
Not quite white … a lovely milk colour.
What type of paper do you use and what is your preference?
Usually Arches French water colour papers and almost always white or momo ton … however often with painted detailing.
I’m never happier with bob at my feet snoring a bit of paper and sharp scissiors and scalpel, great music and a pot of coffee
I do! Yes!
Tell us about your role in thetotally delicious Pastilla Nash packaging design.
Jan Nash and I were having a gin in her garden and discussing her next project … She mentioned a bag and we said both at the same time “a handbag!!” And took it from there … cherry blossom said fairies to me! Bees spoke to me as without them there’d be no blossom and then the packaging emerged. Such fun!
What have the highlights been in your career?
Meeeting Audrey Hepburn at a UNICEF dinner I designed and art directed, working on a Vogue cover with Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, designing a show in Paris for Collette Dinnigan and the success of many of my shows … so many highlights … Could fill another 2 pages!
What’s next for James Gordon?
A show in Hong Kong called ‘love to death’ at the Cat Street Gallery in Hollywood Road … 6O percent is paper work , and i’ve done some tapestries, some still lifes and a series of small scale portraits all featuring a love or death symbol …. Whether a skull tattoo on a well toned bicep or a diamond heart bracelet on a beautiful wrist! The show has a lot of feather, skull, and heart action, all achieved in paper!
Were you given any memorable advice that you would like to share?
My mantra (I read it some where) is “pursue trends , embrace classicism”
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Work hard and be nice !
This’ll sound mushy but really i’m so very proud of bob and how he’s the most adorable and lovely boy !
All days are different but the most typical is woken at 7ish by the above furry, out with him for a piddle, a big pot of coffee and a few cigarettes, out to the park for an hour and a half-ish, more coffee, start to work. Lunch at 2, maybe a nap and back into the parks … Home, more work, bobs dinner @ 6, a bit of TV, my dinner at 8ish, more work till maybe 11 or 12 … interspersed with a visitor or two, a party or lunch and a bit of theatre!
Probably the same as many … A huge white space with sides of windows, a white concrete floor, white walls on wheels and a fantastic assistant who thinks what I want before I know I want it.
How would you describe your style?
Who would you invite to dinner and why?
I have a group of about 10 that I have for a chew often …. But in dream land i’d have Diana Vreeland, Lady Ga Ga, Kylie, Josh Hartnett, Claude Monet, Linda Evangalista and Peter Allen …. Quite a few of whom are dead!
What are you currently working on?
The Hong Kong show and an up and coming (and very very late in coming) range of stationery and a limited edition book, plus the I am the Creative Director for the 2012 Bag Lunch in September – a charity lunch and auction for the Sydney Children’s Hospital at a beautiful house on the water at Elizabeth Bay. It’s only small … for 2oo and there’s an auction of new season, or one off or special collection handbags; Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Mulberry etc. It will be Cabans and Cap d’Antibes/Capri/South of France inspired and totally fabulous!
Black or white … Love both.
Tea or coffee … Never had a cup of tea.
Heals or flats … I wear a leather thong I designed and have had made in several colours almost every day and clearly they’re flat … However I love heels and once did a show of shoe portraits!
Short or long … Short or long what … I love a long book, long walks, short meetings , long hair, short shorts, short dinners, long parties (if fabulous), short nails and long legs.
Sweet or savoury … I only really like aniseed lollies and adore chips!
Night or day … Often in the day i’d like it to be night and the other way around … However always happy really !
You can purchase select pieces of James’ work at Our Cornerstore, Bangalow, NSW or contact the man himself here.
Want to know more about the 2012 Bag Lunch for Sydney Children’s Hospital?A charity lunch for the Sydney Children’s Hospital and the silent auction of entirely unique, handbags from designers, celebrities and private collections.
Your help can make a difference to the care of so many children from across NSW and beyond who are treated in the Intensive Care Unit at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. The ultimate benefit is knowing that you have a direct impact on the life of a child.
For more information contact: email@example.com