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James P Graham

James P Graham
Born 1961, Windsor,, UK..
Lives and works in London,, UK..




Annotations from curator & writer James Putnam ‘When I visited Stromboli myself at the beginning of the project Iddu, I was moved not only by the amazing spectacle of this ever-erupting volcano but by James P Graham’s passionate quest - that rare spark of wonderment, which, when coupled with obsession, can transform into inspiration. In September 2002 Graham ascended Stromboli for the second time with his guide spending a night at the top just next to the volcano’s craters. The sensation of natural phenomena created a momentary experience of what he can only describe as an ‘illumination’. Triggered by the powerful conjugation of elements on Stromboli, he was made aware of his own relative position, size, and relationship with the wider cosmos. Research into this metaphysical experience led him to discover the notion of ‘scientia sacra’ or sacred science. Its pure meaning though difficult to grasp is eloquently described by the contemporary Iranian philosopher Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr in his book Knowledge and the Sacred “...sacred knowledge lies at the heart of every revelation which is at the centre of that circle encompassing and defining tradition…the source of this knowledge is intellectual intuition which involves the illumination of the heart and the mind of man.” Professor Nasr proposes that man is able to perceive the Source of knowledge, which many would define as ‘God’. Historically, ‘scientia sacra’ or ‘sacred science’ was widely understood by religious savants such as St.Thomas Aquinas, and indeed, was the binding factor between theology and science prior to the Renaissance. Stromboli is a ‘sacred’ place that inspires reflection on the very nature of being since it displays the ultimate union and discord of the elements. It serves as a quintessential metaphor for the contrast of violence and peace, bearing witness to an equilibrium over which humanity has no control; an equilibrium which is experienced by the spectator from the centre of Graham’s final installation, providing positional awareness in the face of nature and beyond. This is the foundation on which Graham has built this remarkable project..’ James Putnam is curating the touring installation ‘Iddu’ for UK and international exhibition.