James McClure

Oxfordshire, UK
I was born in South Africa in 1964 and my mum was a nurse and my dad was an art teacher turned crime reporter. We had to leave the year afterwards and I was brought up in Scotland, then England. I worked as a senior editor at a Press Association company in London and then quit work and took a BA honours degree in art from Oxford Brookes University in 2010. It felt like a unique place. Tutors had worked closely with Josef Beuys, making this an international centre of the ongoing Social Plastik project - very post-studio in its methods - while at the same time Brookes was also one of the few schools in the world with 24-hour, year round studio access. So you could get both sides, and I pretty much lived there, with my most successful work being made (I got a First) when I was also working full-time as a technical assistant in a local hospital's emergency operating theatre. Professionally I've been long-listed for the BP portrait award and my sculpture has been shown the Commes des Garçons store in Mayfair, although - because I'm fussy - this is the first time any images have been offered for sale. Right now my influences are coming from 19th century Scandinavian painting, contemporary industrial design, photojournalism, and always Beuys, obviously.