James P Graham

James P Graham
Born 1961 BirthWindsor,, UK..
Lives and works in HomeLondon,, 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.