James Balmforth

James Balmforth

For centuries, artists have produced ‘memento mori’. These are artworks that remind us of death, in order to make us feel more alive. They often feature skulls, decaying fruit or plants. This contemporary art video by James Balmforth is in that tradition.

reservoir island at walthamstow wetlands

Delicate flowers, including primroses, buttercups and forget-me-nots, move slowly across a black background. One by one, they are zapped by a ray of light, shone through a magnifying glass. Flowers need light to live, but here it withers them.

James Balmforth at Walthamstow Wetlands art exhibition

Black humour often features in this artist’s work. He is interested in exposing objects and materials to pressure or heat, creating moments of transformation. Other works on this theme include a dagger made from a metal called gallium, which melts at 30°or skin temperature.  

city view at walthamstow wetlands

James Balmforth exhibiting at walthamstow wetlands

James Balmforth was born in Plymouth and graduated from Chelsea College of Arts in 2003. He has shown his work in solo exhibitions in London and in group shows including Meeting Point at The Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood (2017).