B         L         A         K         E

A    HISTORY    OF    CREATIVITY    &     OBSERVATION

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Welcome ... James Blake has travelled all around England, Europe, The Balkans, The Mediterranean, North Africa, North & Central America and New Zealand in pursuit of his love of music, art and photography. Previous to music, art, photography, and now (art) history, James studied Public Media, Communications & Cultural Studies at Trinity & All Saints College, Leeds University and Fine Art Sculpture at the West Wales School of Art, as well as working as an artist, as a graphic and web designer and as a dj / club promoter. James was educated in England but was very fortunate to have spent his childhood growing up in Malta and Dubai, with visits to South East Asia, Europe and Scandinavia with his parents.

This website contains links to all of James' music mixes (from 1993-2003, 2007-2011 and 2020-2022), art and design books (from 1993-2003) and photography books (from 2005, 2007 & 2012-2019) and (art) history books (from 2019 onwards). Sadly nothing has survived from a year spent in Cornwall (2004), or has survived from a 6,000km journey taken in America (2006) and also nothing for the three years spent in New Zealand (2008-2010). All of the work has been made presentable / re-presentable between 2018 and 2022. The music, art and design, travel, photography and (art) history are all interlinked as 'two halves of the same coin'... a balance of creativity and observation.

James is also a member of WPO and Lightstalkers and his work has featured in The Courier (UK), The Kent Messenger (UK), Kent On Sunday (UK), De Duinstreek (Holland), Mondo In Tasca (Italy), Guida Viaggi (Italy), Globetrotter Magazine (Italy), Cyprus Weekly (Cyprus), Options Newspaper (Cyprus), Sunday Mail (Cyprus) and The Photographer's Mail (New Zealand). James' work has been exhibited in England ("Genius"), Holland ("Unique Abstract Expressionism"), Cyprus ("Extraordinary", "Spectacular", "Stunning", "Amazing", "Beautiful") and New Zealand ("Fantastic").

​​J         A         M         E        S

( A r t )  H i s t o r y

Since 2019, due to an accidental observation made in a cathedral in Tarragona, Spain (in 2018), James has changed directions from photography to (art) history and has, as a result, been working on some new (art) history projects* - After The Fact & After The Fiction : On The Origins Of Religion & On The Origins Of Atheism, Religion And Reality And The End Of Eternity, The End Of EternityThe Truth About Life On Planet EarthThe Lies People Tell, The Failed Future : The World Since World War II, The End Of Heaven : The Last Thousand Years Of European History & Art, The Biology Of Pre-Columbian Art : Ancient Signs, Symbols And Motifs, The Biology Of Eastern Art : Ancient Signs, Symbols And Motifs, The Biology Of Pre-Christian Art : Ancient Signs, Symbols And Motifs and The Biology Of Christian Art : Ancient Signs, Symbols And Motifs. 

 

*most of the works of art and photography in the above seven art history books were NOT TAKEN by James but were sourced from public domain images.

A f t e r  T h e  F a c t  &  A f t e r  T h e  F i c t i o n

O n  T h e  O r i g i n s  O f  R e l i g i o n  &  O n  T h e  O r i g i n s  O f  A t h e i s m

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions,

set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

Thomas Paine ~ The Age Of Reason

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Earth
Earth

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Bonobos (Democratic Republic Of Congo)
Bonobos (Democratic Republic Of Congo)

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The Act Of Killing  Arab Spring  La Haine  Baltic Way  Banksy  They Live  Come And See  The Killing Fields  Soviet-Afghan War  Iranian Revolution  Alain De Botton  Dr Han  Prague Spring  Jimmy Nelson  Cultural Revolution  Simon Sebag Montefiore  Asterix  Adam Curtis Hungarian Revolution  Béla Tarr  Ron Fricke  A. N. Wilson  National Committee For A Free Europe  Christopher Hitchens  The Cold War  Alan Parker  Roger Waters  Captain America  Richard Dawkins  Jacques Rancière  John Lennon  Bruce Chatwin  Melvyn Bragg  Lee Harvey Oswald  World War II  Superman  Mengistu Haile Mariam  Degenerate Art Exhibtion  Vaclav Havel  The Spanish Civil War  James Brown  Merlin Stone  Martin Luther King Jnr Andy Warhol  Kenneth Snelson Pol Pot  Sabine Weiss  Erich Lessing Henry Kissinger  The Jazz Age  Bavarian Soviet Republic  Nicolae Ceaușescu  The Russian Revolution  John F. Kennedy  Gil Elvgren  Jean Harlow  Norman Lewis  Max Ernst  Salvador Allende  Henri Cartier-Bresson  Kenneth Clark  George Orwell  Jose Antonio  Georg Elser  Aedh Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven  Ernesto Caballero  László Moholy-Nagy  Aldous Huxley  Ben Nicholson  Francisco Franco  Adolf Hitler  Benito Mussolini  Society For Psychical Research  El Lissitzky  R. G. Collingwood  Will & Ariel Durant  Hendrik Willem Van Loon  Pablo Picasso  Kazimir Malevich  Joseph Stalin  Herman Hesse  Carl Jung  Vladimir Lenin  Henri Matisse  Metropolitan Museum Of Art  Wassily Kandinksy  William Butler Yeats  Sigmund Freud  Revolutions Of 1848  Friedrich Nietzsche  Gustave Le Bon  Claude Monet  Camille Pissarro  Alexandre Cabanel  Alfred Wallace  Friedrich Engels  Gustave Courbet Karl Marx  Jean-Francois Millet  Charles Darwin  Pierre Hebert  Jules Michelet  The Louvre  The French Revolution  Joseph Grimaldi  John Constable  American Revolutionary War  Napoleon Bonaparte  Maximilien Robespierre  William Blake  The British Museum  Encyclopédie Jacques-Louis David  Universal History  Edward Gibbon  Thomas Paine  Joseph Priestley  Erasmus Darwin  Edmund Burke  Immanuel Kant  Hellfire Club  William Hogarth  Francois-Marie Voltaire  Salem Witch Trials  Bill Of Rights  The Glorious Revolution  Jonathan Swift  Great Fire Of London  Queen Anne Of England  Stuart Restoration  Francesco Trevisani  Isaac Newton  The English Civil War  Ussher-Lightfoot Chronology  Evert Collier  Johannes Vermeer  John Locke  Huguenot Rebellions  The Thirty Year's War  Harmen Steenwijck  John Milton  Bartolomé Esteban Murillo  Alonso Cano  Guido Cagnacci  Diego Valesquez  Oliver Cromwell  Rene Descartes  Warsaw Confederation  St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre  Michelangelo da Caravaggio  Guy Fawkes  Eighty Years' War  James I Of England  William Shakespeare  Francis Bacon  Peter Paul Rubens  Giordano Bruno  Merindol Massacre  Pilgrimage Of Grace  Queen Elizabeth I Of England  Supreme Head Of The Church Of England  John Dee Witchcraft  Atlantic Slave Trade  Roman Charity  Pierre Viret  Johann Faust  Thomas More  Hans Holbien  The Younger  Reconquista  King Henry VIII Of England  Martin Luther  Michelangelo Simoni  Desiderius Erasmus  Sandro Botticelli  Henry VII of England  The War Of The Roses  Christopher Columbus  Johannes Gutenberg  Lollardy  Western Schism  Jan Hus  Antipope John XIII  Wat Tyler  Avignon Papacy  Francesco Petrarca  Dante Alighieri  Jacques De Molay  The Holy Inquistion  Lateran IV  Catharism  Francis Of Assisi  Notre-Dame De Paris  Bohemia  The Crusades  Hildegard Of Bingen  Peter Abelard  Hugues De Payens  Bernard Of Clairveaux  Pope Urban II  Charlemagne  Anicius Boethius  Dionysius Exiguus  The Byzantine Empire  Constantine The Great  Marcus Cicero  The Flavian Dynasty  Jesus  The Virgin Mary  Cleopatra VII  Qin Shi Huang  Herodotus  Plato  Socrates Confucius  Gautama Buddha  Song Of Songs  Right Hand Of God  Hand Of God  Moses  Code Of Hammurabi  Abraham  Nut  Horus  Isis  Cuneiform  Vinca Culture  Tumulus  Menhirs  Shells  Red Ochre  Homo Sapiens  Homo Neanderthalensis Homo Heidelbergensis  Homo Erectus  Mammals  Birds  Reptiles  Amphibians  Fish  Fossil  Life  The Earth  The Moon  The Sun  The Milky Way Galaxy  Iron  Oxygen  Carbon  Hydrogen  Matter  The Big Bang

P h o t o g r a p h y

In 2012 James moved to Cyprus and spent the next three years photographing the island, both north and south, that resulted in self publishing three books and presenting two exhibitions, one in the capital Nicosia and the other in the town Paphos, where James was based, all of which was very well received in the media there. Between 2015 and 2018 James spent the majority of his time in back in England, and also in France and Spain, with visits to Wales, Holland, Belgium, Andorra, Portugal and Bulgaria and as well as doing books on England, France and Spain James also focused his camera on figurative sculpture, everyday people, figurative street art and stained glass windows. Whilst in Spain and focusing on figurative sculpture James made an accidental observation in Tarragona Cathedral which lead to a change of direction from observational photography to photographic art history / history (see above).

A History Of Creativity & Obsevation (20
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View Book

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Cyprus Mail Newspaper Story By Alix Norman


Once upon a time we had a holiday home in the mountains: ringing church bells punctuated the hours, goats pushed and paraded down the narrow streets, the smell of zivania from the still enough to make you feel quite tipsy. This, to me, was the true Cyprus, an island where black-clad grandmothers crocheted under the lemon trees while their husbands drank sketo in the sun. And until recently, it was a way of life that I thought had been lost. But I’ve been proven wrong: the true Cyprus still exists, if you know where and how to look – and it’s all been captured on film in a new exhibition entitled Impressions of a Mediterranean Island. James Blake is the photographer, and though he hasn’t been long on the island, his love for every facet of the landscape, the architecture and – most importantly – the people shines out of every one of his 140 images. “Cyprus is a beautiful and fascinating island for any visitor, with an incredible history dating back 9,000 years,” says this world-traveller, a man who has lived and worked in all four corners of the globe, but his favourite place to photograph, he professes, is definitely Cyprus. “I love history, and there’s so much of it here,” he says. “Greek, Roman, Persian. Crusader castles and Byzantine churches, Gothic cathedrals and Venetian cities. There’s always somewhere to go and something to see on this island. It’s like a history book.

But despite his love of his newfound surroundings, he admits that it’s the actual inhabitants of the island who really inspire his work: “The Cypriot people are fascinating and so friendly,” he says warmly. “It makes it easier to approach them, not only to photograph them but also to chat to them and learn about their lives. They have so much character,” he adds. “You could take a picture of a landscape, a building, and it would probably be the same in 200 years, but the people are truly unique in the moment.

Having studied art and sculpture, graphic and web design, James clearly has a strong creative bent which he believes helps in his work: “I think I have an informed eye for something that might become a picture,” he muses. “Most of my work is pretty spontaneous, I don’t tend to sit around for hours trying to get each shot absolutely right. I just walk down the street and think ‘that looks good!’. Not only has James worked all over the world, he’s also published three books of his photography. The first, On the Road was “a starting point,” he says, “photographs from the places I’d been, South Africa, Morocco, the Americas.” While the second focused more on the locals of the various countries, it’s the third of his publications that’s particularly relevant to Cyprus.

The book shares its name and subject with his latest exhibition, Impressions of a Mediterranean Island, and in it one feels he has captured the true Cyprus: “It’s the whole island,” he says. “And though a lot of it is the people, there’s everything from landscapes to lizards and monasteries to mosaics.

And perhaps a fresh perspective is what we jaded residents really need to rekindle our love for the country, a fresh eye to see what we’re all missing: “The exhibition is a reflection, I think, of how much I love Cyprus,” James concludes. “There’s no pretension to it, I’m not trying to be a great artist. It’s just about sharing what I’ve seen of this wonderful island and its people.” And with Impressions Of A Mediterranean Island - the exhibition and the book of the same name - James seems to have captured the real Cyprus.

P h o t o g r a p h y

The Art Of Life : Memory & Immortality In Art & Life

(2019)

Making Notes : In The Margins Of life

(2018)

Prague : City Of Saints

(2013)

Shine A Light : Stained Glass Art

(2017-2018)

Only For The Masses : Figurative Street Art & Stained Glass

(2017-2018)

France : From Calais To Cerbere

(2017-2018)

Everyday People, Everyday Lives

(2016-2018)

Broken Smiles : Destruction, Desolation & Decay

(2016-2018)

Spain : From La Sue D'Urgell To Ayamonte

(2016-2018)

Figurative Sculpture : Across England & Mainland Europe

(2015-2018)

A New Foreign Land : England (From Sunderland To Poole)

(2015-2018)

Cyprus : Impressions Of A Mediterranean Island (III) (Extras)

(2014)

Cyprus : Impressions Of A Mediterranean Island (II)

(2013)

Cyprus : Impressions Of A Mediterranean Island (I)

(2012)

P h o t o g r a p h y  &  M i x e s

In 2004 James changed direction and got into travel photography (in Cornwall, Morocco & The Western Sahara, Eastern Europe, Mexico & Guatemala and America) for three years and in 2007 James moved to London and continued taking photos (In Sardinia and London (Revisited)) and mixing music (London Eclectic, Mirror Mirror On The Wall & Voces Coisas Bonitas) and started studying documentary film at the BFI. James was thinking about making a documentary film about London and the city's street art scene, that never happened as James moved to New Zealand in 2008 for three years. At the end of 2010 James returned to England and taking photos and mixing music (Polar Shift, Sound Red Alert, Shifting Gears (I) & (II)Only For The Hardcore (I) & (II)I Hate TV, Memoirs Of An Assassin, Echoes, Pink Floyd : A Pillow Of WindsSubsonicsoundscapes I, II, III & IV and Restructured Soundspaces).

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