James Read

"My paintings are made using acrylic paint, drawing and fragments of paper mounted onto canvas. The paper used has included parts of old maps, letters from friends as well as diagrams and photographs retrieved from discarded books.

"I studied printmaking which has continued to inform the way I work particularly in the use of stenciling and the masking out of specific areas of the painting. Information from the letters, maps and photographs is transformed into marks of a different colour and scale as well as being placed in new and often incongruous contexts. I use acrylic paint as the fast drying time allows these processes to take place rapidly and many changes to be made to the surface of the painting in a day.

"Paintings are worked upon in pairs as I find this helps to translate ideas and images from one canvas to the next. It also enables the intervention of the accidental and the unintentional while painting. The paintings take shape and develop as these events are recorded and edited. In doing this a search for a tentative and fragile sense of order is emphasised.

"Although each work has a distinct character and exists independently, when presented together the paintings appear part of an ongoing process evoking a sense of personal and collective memory."

James studied at Winchester School of Art, Gwent College of Higher Education in Cardiff and postgraduate studies at Chelsea College of Art & Design, London.  He was Artist In Residence at Essendine Arts Centre, London and at Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education, and also undertook a printmaking placement at Oxford Brookes University.  His work has been awarded the Julian Trevelyan Printmaking Prize and the Johnson Wax Kiln Gallery Prize.

Solo Exhibitions

The Art Room, Christchurch College, Oxford
Museum Of Oxford
Windsor Arts Centre

Group Exhibitions

Oh Brother, Where's Thou Art? Ultimate Picture Palace, Oxford
The Chaco Show, Wolfson College, Oxford 
2006, 1998
Wiseman Gallery, Oxford
Affordable Art Fair, London
Collyer-Bristow Gallery, London
OVADA Art Space, Oxford
Vibrant Art, Stow On The Wold
Oxford Art Society, Said Business School, Oxford
Secret, Royal College of Art, London
Blue Wing Gallery, London
Battersea Contemporary Art Fair, London
3Jay Artists Collective, Said Business School, Oxford
3Jay Artists Collective, Exchange Gallery, Oxford
Magdalen Road Studios, Oxford
Stuckist International, Green Street, Oxford
The Stour Gallery, Shipston On Stour
Island Gallery, Oxford
The Art Store, Dublin
Merris Court Gallery, Chipping Norton
Reubens Gallery, Leeds
The Art Supermarket, Harvey Nichols, London
Ludwig Beck, Munich
Affordable Art Fair, London
Reuters, London
Proud Gallery, London
Oxfordshire County Museum, Woodstock
Winchester Contemporary Art
Wolfson College, Oxford
Schoolhouse Gallery, Bath
Randolph Street Studios, Oxford
The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London
Royal Overseas League Competition, London & Edinburgh
Beatrice Royal Gallery, Southampton
Argile Gallery, London
West End Arts Centre, Aldershot
Winsor & Newton Young Artists Award, London
Wolfson College, Oxford
Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour, London
Bankside Gallery, London
Cupola Contemporary Art, Sheffield
Winsor & Newton Young Artists Award, London
Ferrens Art Gallery, Hull
Stamford Arts Centre
Kiln Gallery, Farnham
Art 90, Olympia, London
Café Gallery, London
Portobello Open, London
Essendine Art Centre, London


  • 120 Grams (Sardine) by James Read
  • A Slice by James Read
  • Bird 2 (Goldfinch) by James Read
  • Bird 5 (Blue Rock Thrush) by James Read
  • Blending In by James Read
  • Blue Scheme On A Plate by James Read
  • Borrowed Modern Forms by James Read
  • Brush by James Read
  • Bullfinch by James Read
  • Eau De Nil by James Read
  • Fig.9 & Reds by James Read
  • Goldfinch (Art History) by James Read
  • Goldfinch (Natural History) by James Read
  • In A Daze by James Read
  • Ivy & Pear by James Read
  • Jay by James Read
  • Jay On Pelican by James Read
  • Large Cabbage White by James Read
  • Linnet On Pelican by James Read
  • No Picnic by James Read
  • Painted Bunting by James Read
  • Pear & Slice by James Read
  • Pear On Burnt Umber by James Read
  • Pear With Map & Projection by James Read
  • Raven by James Read
  • Scarlet Rosefinch On Pelican by James Read
  • Sense Organ by James Read
  • Torn Pages by James Read
  • Turtle Dove by James Read
  • Volume Two & Reds by James Read