All his works – some of which go on show in an exhibition in west London’s Studio Building this week – are free from the tinkerings of post-production and digital editing, and created using clever staging and lighting techniques.
His gorgeous images recall the paintings of 17th Century Dutch masters, depicting objects such as decaying fruit, cut flowers and valuable items to ‘illustrate the transience of life and earthly pleasures’, the gallery poetically surmises.
To create the pictures, James constructs sculptural installations underwater from nature and handmade props, in black tanks filled with highly purified water. These scenes are then photographed, creating a beautiful, haunting painterly effect.
This exhibition, entitled Intersections, will showcase the series Vanitas, alongside new works from the Swarm and Glass series.
One such new work, Grace, measures an impressive 2m high, showing vibrant tulips in a terracotta vase. Again, the piece showcases James’ fascination with transience – the blooms art starting to wilt; a butterfly passes by in the shadows.
Alexander James, Intersections, runs from 26 April – 23 May at The Studio Building, Notting Hill , 21 Evesham Street, London W11