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Cherrie James in her studio in Opahi Bay, Mahurangi West

What is your background and how does that inform your art? I have been an art teacher and pottery tutor for over 20 years and consequently, I have tried many different art practices from bronze and glass casting to weaving, and print making so I can share the knowledge learnt from trialling these different technical skills with my students. So, I classify myself as a Mixed Media Artist.


© Cherrie James 2021 - 3D Wall Hanging ceramic and steel

What process, materials, techniques do you use to create your artwork? I have my own studio and kiln. My art practice provides on-going opportunities for problem solving, learning and pleasure. My curiosity to try new things and give something a go to see where it will lead has often led to new directions in my art practice which helps alleviate any boredom from setting in my creative process. For instance, this year I learnt how to weld and STANDING STILL is the result. However, I have found that nothing else besides clay has offered more possibilities and spheres of interest for me to explore and so it has been one constant in my art practice over the years. What inspires you? I have been lucky to have travelled widely and visited many galleries and artists. I am constantly inspired by works of art l see, whether it be the colours used or feeling the art invokes it becomes a starting point for exploring and learn from for me. At other times, it could be an event that happens that I need to create an artwork in response to it, or just a need to have a laugh and do something unexpected. My work can at times be described as quirky, varied and often humourous.

MANDALA INSPIRED © Cherrie James 2021

Ceramic bowls on a sand and pebble base with wooden surround. This is Cherrie’s 2021 Sculpture on the Shore entry, inspired by the repetitive Buddhist patterning used for mediating and contemplation

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