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Michael's story:

Forest Trails .jpg

Where it comes to being a artist I get often asked what on earth it is I do! Am I painter?, A photographer? A sculptor? Or designer? and my honest Answer is all of the above!

As for me its not about "how well something can be created" its about exploration, adventure and challenging myself to to veiw the world differently. For after all I say, the mediums are my children therefore it would be wrong to pick a faverioute!.

My primary artistic interests though are drawn to the environments and landscapes that surround us, having spent several years volunteering in conservation as also exploring the relationships and ways we view and understand the natural world around us in recent years. Leading to many rambling adventures across Scottish wild spaces such as Moine Mhor, and the Pentland hills in order to discover new ways of seeing and working with the landscapes. by 202 after studying for4 years at the Edinburgh College of Art, Covid 19 hit and the lockdowns soon followed changing the very ways I could simply work as a artist for as for first time I unable to work with the landscapes I knew and love.

Yet this conundrum led to a new beginning for my practice, exploring the communities and places that lay on my own doorstep in Craigmillar, rather than the landscapes further afield. Here I Explored the local parks taking inspiration from local knowledge and wildlife finding a new practice in what surrounds me. Yet Quite often in the local areas I was met with litter whether blowing into my garden or trampled through the castle park meadows. with having a background in conservation I was determined to at least do something about it! 

Therefore I took to start local litter picks, wich honestly started as a act of mindfulness, yet soon grew to be a entirely new community as I noticed many of the locals took interest too in my wildlife antics therefore encouraging and inspiring myself to set up a online community that within weeks grew and thrived as a local litter picking group. 

As restrictions eased I worked more and more with the community that in time led to meeting many wonderful people across Craigmillar and Niddrie working with local park rangers and communities such as the Thistle foundation. Through meeting, working and walking with others in the local landscape I then found my practice soon grew from a postgrad fledgling to a community artist where I joined Craigmillar Now as a garden artist in residence in November 2021.

So I welcome you all to my creative adventures at Craigmillar now! Here will be my residency journey where Ill be sharing my journey at the centre where ill be looking at transforming the garden spaces to be a space that is inclusive, inspiring and empowering for all within the community.



Email - 

or follow on Instagram for more of my work at... - @michael_james_art

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