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James Oram

James Oram graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Canterbury in 2003. He was awarded the Ethel Susan Jones Fine Arts Travelling Scholarship, and served as Chairperson of The High Street Project Trust from 2004 to 2005. He showed Self Generating in 2007 at the Christchurch Art Gallery. A video work, it relies on the artist’s endurance. He pedals a stationary bicycle in a dark room, generating just enough power to light up a string of bulbs spelling out a tenuous ‘ME’. The word fades dangerously close to black whenever the artist tires and his pedalling falls below the necessary pace. Much of Oram’s work reveals the artist’s fascination with the dynamics of personal struggles, inescapable rivalries and absurdly regulated cycles of action.

Other  projects include: The Good Life, High Street Project, Christchurch (2007), SCAPE 2008: Wandering Lines: Towards a New Culture of Space , Christchurch. Game Face,   the Physics room,  Christchurch 2010. Animal Spirits, group show, Sugarcube, Stockholm 2011/

Oram’s ideas find form across moving image, sculpture, drawing and installation. Yet, for all the diversity of his practice, his conceptual intent and interest is a rich vein running through all his works, whether they be sparse and autobiographical line drawings or bold concrete sculpture of words already heavy with meaning. James Oram provides a compelling mix of surface simplicity and darker undercurrents exploring the small, introspective battles of individual existence. He lost his studio and all of his work in the Christchurch earthquake of February 22, 2011.