James Capper


b. 1987, London,  Education. Chelsea College of Art, Royal College of Art, London.

Machinery and engineering have gripped Capper’s imagination since childhood. As a boy growing up in a village in Kent, he persuaded the local mechanic to employ him on Saturdays. “I’d be wrenching stuff out of scrapped cars for projects I was doing at home – a pump to make my own hydraulic system, a battery so I could have lights in a treehouse.” By his late teens, he’d learnt to weld, then charmed his way into the workshop of some steel fabricators to learn the tricks of their trade.

He toyed with being an earth-moving machinery designer, but his parents, a teacher and a builder, were adamant he should go to art school. As a student at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, he was initially inspired by the work of Anthony Caro and David Smith to make abstract sculpture, but soon stopped, feeling he wasn’t “being serious”. “I felt I wasn’t being honest with myself. I had all this real-world engineering knowledge. I started making machines.”

Then he had to decide whether it was the aesthetics of the machines that mattered to him or what the machine could do. “It’s become a fusion of everything,” he says. All aspects of any machine he makes are part of the work of art.

Artist Statement

Artwork by kind permission Hannah Barry Gallery http://www.hannahbarry.com

Atlas Mill C & stand


Atlas Mill C & stand