James Ormiston is a kiwi born artist who made the move to Barcelona in early 2022.

He grew up on a farm in rural New Zealand before moving to Dunedin, NZ, in his late teens to pursue a career in the arts. He studied Fine Art for a time at the Dunedin School of art, but left when opportunities arose to found an art gallery and focus on his illustration work. The latter would ultimately earn him a spot in an Australian Art Residency Program in 2017, prompting a move to Melbourne. The residency program gave James the chance to transition away from illustration and into Fine art by enabling him to study under a variety of contemporary realist painters to hone his skills.

Seeing creation as a practice, not a performance, has been an invaluable shift in mindset, to which he credits his recent artistic output. His practice has largely taken the form of experimental portraiture in the genre of “disrupted realism”.

The current body of work “Pushing through the skin” explores themes of identity, multiplicity, and the concept of self. The work in this series seeks to distance portraiture from faithful representation by distorting the subjects into near-anonymity through abstraction, omission, and the push and pull of order and chaos. Veins of bright colours piercing through carefully rendered realism are a recurring motif within the series; a nod to the dance of contradictions that co-exist within all of us.

“Do I contradict myself?

Very well then I contradict myself,

(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”

― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass