James King - Daydream, 2023 - Oil on board - 35.5x28cm

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This artwork is from James King’s exhibition 'In a World of Their Own', a deeply introspective body of work breathes new life into forgotten stories and honours the power of human connection. Feeling unsettled after a difficult time in his life, including the death of both his parents, James left the Southern Highlands of New South Wales for Hobart, seeking a fresh start. Reestablishing his studio in a new city, James began creating again, reuniting with painting as an old friend. After reckoning with grief, shock and immense loneliness, James found solace and healing in his art-making practice.

For this body of work, James sourced his reference images online and from local photo archives which gave him a sense of connection to his new home and community. This seemingly inexhaustible treasure trove of memories provided fertile ground for creative and personal exploration. James was moved to paint pictures of people who seemed lost in thought or immersed in their own worlds. His carefully observed paintings have a sense of warmth and nostalgia which affords these anonymous characters a sense of familiarity. Regardless of their age, place or era, he reminds us that these people lived lives as vivid and complex as our own.

Artwork location: Sydney


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