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James Ritchie

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James Ritchie

My background is of a family that are creative enthusiasts – teachers, artists and people with a social and moral compass that has always been true to the direction we all set our sights on. I graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) Dundee University with a BA (Hons) Fine Art in 2015. My practice at DJCAD was shaped by how the human condition is influenced by factors outwith the individual's control. Like religious, political, environmental, social, state or ethnic pressures brought to bear on individuals, families or a nation of people. With that, I had the honour of being selected for the Visual Art Scotland Graduate Showcase Exhibition in The Annual Exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy – Edinburgh in January 2016. That was a great boost to my creative self-confidence, starting out on the road to a life of dedicated creative practice.

After art school, I decided right away that I wanted to follow a road less travelled in terms of artistic employment and creative endeavours. So, I bought an anvil made in 1847 and a coal forge and started bashing, cutting and shaping metal. And I have not looked back. I have two creative/business strategies – affordable art production like the Pine Cone Fire Basket and large-scale private and public commissions. Both approaches are working and are highly rewarding. My first major commission was for the Carnegie Club, Skibo Castle Scotland – 2017. The Skibo Osprey. Part of the ongoing restoration and development of Andrew Carnegie's Highland home. Since then, I have created a 'monster' for An Talla By Loch Ness. A provocative and humours take on the Loch Ness monster and the myth. Art and especially sculpture has a solidity and strength about it that stands out in the landscape or space that it sits in – hopefully, stimulating people of all walks of life to stop for a minute and think about the artistic statement, idea or creation that the artist presents to the viewer. With that focus in mind, I want to set my creative compass firmly on producing engaging, stimulating and provocative art.

I look forward to working with clients and patrons that are creative enthusiasts like myself and my family are. For me, art is like a fire that can't be extinguished; it just keeps on getting hotter and hotter, especially if you work on a forge as I do every day.

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