Wilding Cran Gallery is pleased to present A Place to Belong, a solo exhibition by February James. For this exhibition James creates a domestic environment, a room in a home.
The gallery is transformed into a work of art: The walls are painted a wash with visible brushstrokes, and are adorned with paper sculptures representing the objects and furniture within it, an environment for the characters in her portraits to inhabit. Finally, completing the narrative, James places her painted figures around these objects of domesticity. For James this stage holds an autobiographical narrative, her paintings represent her own experiences and familial relationships, they speak to her and tell their stories. But the figures themselves are devoid of construct, they strive to capture the essence of a person rather than their physicality, so that we are invited to create our own characterisations, based on our own relationships.
When experienced through this window of domesticity, the figures become even more personal to the viewer, the storytelling embroiled in our own subjectivity, leaving us to wonder how much of what we perceive is real, and how much is social construct. James explores what factors influence identity formation: how truth is conditioned by the frameworks through which it is received; she asks the question, how much does the legacy of a family influence our everyday life, our vulnerabilities, our expectations, and explores the hidden emotions that exist between what we see and what we experience. February James is a mixed media artist originally from Washington DC.
She is currently studying for a BFA from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena (2020). Most recently her work was shown in Punch, curated by Nina Chanel Abney at Jeffrey Deitch gallery, Los Angeles. Other recent exhibitions include Mirror Mirror at Latchkey Gallery, NYC, and Collision Course at Band of Vices, Los Angeles. James lives and works in Los Angeles.