(Australian, b. 1962)
James Corbett has been creating his incredibly life-like sculptures since late 1998. At the time he was the proprietor of a specialist motor wrecking business in Brisbane, Australia. One rainy Saturday afternoon he decided to bring to fruition some thoughts that had been in the back of his mind for some time and began welding together some parts. The finished result was an off-road race buggy (a sport which James had competed in for some 10 years). He liked the result, as did many others who saw it on the counter of the shop. Encouraged by this response James continued to create his sculptures over the next few months, and it wasn’t long before they were selling to customers.
The response was so good in fact that in 1999 he held his first exhibition at a motoring themed café in Brisbane called Vroom. The rest, as they say, is history. James sold his work and was asked to be the guest artist at the Brisbane International Motor Show, which he did for three years. Numerous exhibitions, showings & commissions followed. By March 2000 it was clear that the sculptures were going to be a permanent feature in their lives, so James and his wife Jodie decided to sell the wrecking business and concentrate full time on James’ career as an artist. Now, two decades later, he is still growing in popularity and has held two successful exhibitions in the UK, many successful solo exhibitions in three of Australia’s capital cities, sold works to clients in England, the USA, New Zealand, The United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Japan, Argentina, and Malaysia. He has also been an invited artist to exhibit at the Essen Motor Show in Germany, completed several large corporate commissions for public display, and is generally run off his feet at certain times of the year!
James has a great enthusiasm for racing cars and bikes, and they are some of his most popular subjects. Animals, particularly dogs, birds and native Australian fauna are also hugely popular. James loves to put drivers in his cars, and riders on his motorbikes, as he feels they convey the sense of speed, enthusiasm and love for their machines, particularly the older style racing cars, a subject which James holds particularly close to his heart (he currently races a replica 1939 Ford sprint car, which he built himself).
His sculptures capture a glimpse, a moment, a second in time of the subject, whether that be a bike as it hurls down a board track in the 1900’s, a car as it is being man-handled around a corner in a race, or a dog looking up at you as if to say “OK, did you say “walk”!? His ability to make such life-like pieces out of inanimate material is his unique gift, one which touches people from all walks of life, from any age group. They make people want to touch them, and they make people smile, something James feels is a pretty satisfying end result!
My works are in essence a solved puzzle. They are not unlike an impressionist’s painting, that if viewed closely is a cluster of separate solid colors, but when viewed from further away is transformed into a fluid image. Unlike such a painting, each separate component in my sculptures has its own history. Long into the future my works will be both a tactile three dimensional image, and a time capsule from the age of the motorcar.
For full resume, view PDF below
2019 CODA Gallery, Palm Desert, California U.S.A.
2018 John Davies Gallery, Gloucestershire, Great Britain
2017 Robinsons Art Gallery, Belgium
2016 CODA Gallery, Palm Desert, California. U.S.A.
2015 Michael Commerford Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2015 Linton & Kay Contemporary Gallery, Perth, Australia
2014 John Davies Gallery, Gloucestershire, Great Britain
2014 CODA Gallery, Palm Desert, California U.S.A.
2013 Michael Commerford Gallery, Sydney Australia
2012 Linton & Kay Contemporary Gallery, Perth, Australia
2012 John Davies Gallery, Gloucestershire, Great Britain
2012 CODA Gallery, Palm Desert, California U.S.A.
2011 John Davies Gallery, Gloucestershire, Great Britain
2010 Linton & Kay Contemporary Gallery, Perth, Australia
2010 CODA Gallery, Palm Desert, California U.S.A.
2009 John Davies Gallery, Gloucestershsire, Great Britain
2009 Michael Commerford Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2008 John Davies Gallery, Gloucestershire, Great Britain
2008 Michael Commerford Gallery, Sydney Australia
2007 Gadfly Gallery, Perth, Australia
2007 Michael Commerford Gallery, Sydney Australia
2006 Michael Commerford Gallery, Sydney Australia
2005 Gadfly Gallery, Perth, Australia
2005 Michael Commerford Gallery, Sydney Australia
2004 Michael Commerford Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2004 Tree Frog Gallery, Maleny, Queensland, Australia
2003 Michael Commerford Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2003 Tree Frog Gallery, Maleny, Queensland, Australia
2003 Del Shan Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
2002 Michael Commerford Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2001 Riverside Centre, Brisbane, Australia
1999 Vroom Café, Brisbane, Australia
2014 - Michael Commerford Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
2007/2005/2003 - Gadfly Gallery, Perth, Australia
Invited Guest Artist:
2009 - P.Y.D. Building Sydney, Australia
2006 - Opening Aranda Aboriginal Art Gallery, Melbourne
2004 - Oddfellows Advertising Campaign launch, Sydney
2003 - Essen International Motor Show, Essen, Germany
2002/2001/2000 - Brisbane International Motor Show
Sample Corporate Commissions:
Pirtek Enduro Cup Trophies V8 Supercars, Australia
Essen Motor Show, Germany
Print Media and Feature Articles:
Travelling Device – An Epic Journey of Exploration and Reinvention (Book)
Automobile Quarterly (USA) Automobile U.S.A
Sydney Morning Herald, The West Australian Newspaper