Obsessive artist James inspired by donkeys and the absurd

Sheffield artist James Green.
Sheffield artist James Green.
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SHEFFIELD artist James Green has just completed a commission for the prestigious Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield.

The gallery opened in 2011 and brings together work from Wakefield’s art collection, exhibitions by contemporary artists and rarely-seen works by world-famous sculptor Barbara Hepworth, who was born in the town.

James was asked to produce a print of the exterior of the building. The Sheffield-based artist and printmaker said he has been working in the medium for about 10 years, saying he is “pretty obsessed by it”.

He added: “I take inspiration from urban and suburban landscapes, animals (especially donkeys) and occasionally the absurd.”

James came to Sheffield from Birmingham in 1992 to study fine art and eventually returned to live here after spending some time in Leeds.

He said: “I find the Sheffield landscape very inspiring and also the enthusiasm for art and craft here. People seem to love hand-made stuff and are always so encouraging!”

He added: “The gallery contacted me last autumn about the idea. I was happy to take on the project and flattered to have been asked.

“They said they liked my work, and asked if I could produce a linocut print of the exterior of the gallery for them. I won’t deny I was also a little daunted, as it is an amazing building, but I like a challenge. The prints are all hand-pressed – with a Sheffield spoon – and are limited to 100 copies.

“It is one of the largest linocuts I’ve done and i’m pretty chuffed with it, if I say so myself.”

His other commissions have included The Folk Forest festival arm of the Tramlines Sheffield festival, Domino Records and T-shirt designs for Paul Smith Menswear.

Rosie Ripley, who commissioned the print for the Hepworth, said his work had proved popular with gallery visitors.

She added: “We were particularly impressed with James’ urban landscapes of Sheffield and were eager to commission James to do a lino-cut print of our gallery in its riverside setting in Wakefield.

“We are delighted with the result; James’ unique bold style compliments the architectural features of The Hepworth Wakefield. Definitely an artist with a bright future!”

The print is available from the gallery shop and its website on http://www.hepworthwakefield.org/shop/print/021356/james-green-thw-print