CV \ James Hudson M.A.
I am a visual artist producing semi-fictional projects that combine original photography, text and collage. They are usually commissions or residencies for cultural organisations and brands. You are welcome to contact me to discuss a potential commission or collaboration.

In my late teens I was a professional BMX rider. I rode my bike in competitions, at live demonstrations, on TV and in the circus for a couple of years. The whole skateboard and BMX culture drew me in because it was new, collaborative and there was a wonderful camaraderie. The physical sensations of doing the tricks were intense, often scary, sometimes painful and riding on the street was raw. Riding with other people pushed me creatively and I discovered that the competitions we entered were as much about having a laugh and progressing through a bit of pressure as they were about winning.

Having started photographing my friends and the tricks they were doing, I then contributed images to magazines and, when my professional biking career came to an end, working in publishing and producing digital media. There is a thrill in publishing: like biking, it is going to be seen, you are going to be judged, so it needs to be good. 

I then progressed to commercial photography, undertaking assignments in different countries for a variety of companies. But this work was often slightly at odds with what I liked most about the medium. Understandably, most clients want predictable, clear and realistic images. But what I found I liked most about photography is its unpredictability and its blur. How black and white images close the visual gap with typography and illustration. 

Being out on the street, reacting to situations rather than constructing them was where I needed to be embracing the way a camera can create images that were not what I imagined when I pressed the button. So with the help of an intense workshop, I developed from a commercial practice to a purely artistic one. 

My first major project as an artist was a residency at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford where I produced a book loosely inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Blackwell’s ‘Inspired by Blake’ exhibition included my photographic illustration and short film ‘London’ and I also created several personal projects including one about a poetry brothel and another about fear of terrorism, urban alienation and suicide. My images were not staged but they did not pertain to be truthful either.

As part of my MA in Graphic Arts at the University of the West of England I developed Mary Wollstonecraft’s 1787 unfinished story ‘The Cave of Fancy’ into a new, 300+ page photo-text novel. 
Inspiration for my projects often comes from literature, history and illustration, particularly work with a surrealist and gothic flavour. My projects result in narratives with gaps for readers to fill in. The relationship between the words and images is non-mimetic: the images do not simply illustrate, or mimic, the text; they carry equal narrative weight with the words. I believe the entertaining and accessible character of fiction gives it power in engaging a wide variety of people in art projects and the issues they raise.

I have received commissions from Ffotogallery and the Welsh Assembly, exhibited at the Format and Diffusion festivals, completed residencies for the Ashmolean Museum, The Dee Valley and Leadenhall Market in London. I am currently producing a project about migration, crypto-currency and our evolution into ‘digital' humans that has been funded by Arts Council Wales and also finishing a personal project set in a very non-digital late 80’s sub culture.

My experience in commercial photography and digital media still contributes to my work and although I only skate and ride bikes occasionally these days, that original approach still resonates in my current working practices.

James Hudson

Vale Voice \ Printed book, 48 pages, 100 copies \ 2021 
Nothing To Worry About \ Printed book, 130 pages, 33 copies \ 2020
Volution \ Printed book, spiral bound, 112 pages, 83 copies \ 2019
The Cave of Fancy \ Printed book, hand bound, 364 pages, 10 copies \ 2019
Some death I have known \ Printed booklet, 3 copies \ 2018
@ a poetry brothel \ Printed booklet with laser cut windows, 22 copies \ 2018
London \ Boxed set of 12 Lambda Prints with silk screened text, 9 copies \ 2016
Three Encounters \ Printed booklet with folded card envelope, 99 copies \ 2016 
Skate Park Life \ Printed, hand folded booklet, 300 copies \ 2016
3 Muses \ Printed booklet with folded card envelope, 99 copies \ 2015
Metamorphosis \ Duotone hardback book by Bardwell Press, 350 copies \ 2015
Residencies, Lectures & Talks
Author/Artist in Residence \ OPL Project, Dee Valley, Denbighshire \ 2021
Artist in Residence \ Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archeology, Oxford \ 2010-2011
B&W Photography Lecture \ Royal Automobile Club, London \ 8 November 2016
Practice Introduction Lecture \ University of Derby \ 6 March 2013
Cave of Fancy UWE Postgrad Symposium Talk \ Arnolfini, Bristol \ 23 May 2019 
Forum Talk \ FFotogallery, Cardiff \ 31 January 2013

Group Exhibitions
Many Voices One Nation \ Welsh Assembly, Cardiff \ 5-29 September 2019 
UWE Creative Industries Degree Show \ Arnolfini, Bristol \ 7-12 June 2019
Graphic Art of Photography \ Centrespace Gallery, Bristol \ 9-14 February 2018
Revolution ‘Zeitgeist’ Diffusion Festival \ Wales Millennium Centre \ 1-31 May 2017
Made in Wales II: A Fine Beginning \ Various locations \ September 2015 - April 2016 
ESPY Award 2014 - Rural & Urban (Shortlisted) \ Elysium Gallery, Swansea \ 8-30 March 2014
Factory: FORMAT International Photography Festival \ Derby \ 8 March - 7 April 2013 

References available on request.

Other links:
Back to Top