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Artist James Lake has used cardboard and recyclable as his medium material to create free-standing figural sculptures

Artist James Lake has used cardboard as his medium and recyclable material to create free-standing figural sculptures.

Much of my work uses cardboard as a sculptural material due to it immediacy, ease of availability, reasonable cost and low environmental impact. My intention is to produce sculptures that echo the detail and depth found within traditional sculpting materials at a time of great global economic and environmental upheaval. My work is a search for a common truth and to find a sense of quiet humanity in the small details that are sometimes drowned out by the noise and brightness of contemporary culture.

I like to transform the utilitarian and overlooked cardboard box into a sophisticated and elaborate sculpting material. With this, I create life size, three-dimensional portraits of people and animals, and anatomical models and furniture, including a monumental-scale commission for the Lucca Biennale in 2018.

The process and outcomes of making my work have always been intertwined with the practicalities of sculpting with a physical impairment. I lost my right leg to cancer when I was a teenager, so I spent time searching for an accessible and readily available material that I could use from my bedroom whilst rehabilitating. I create my work in pieces and then strategically position them together like a grand jigsaw puzzle to make the final design. This echoes the problem-solving skills that dyslexics, of which I am one, develop to write things down in a coherent manner.

Ingrained in my process is the desire to teach and demonstrate the techniques I use with others. Often working with schools, community groups and museums, I want to make sculpture accessible and blur the boundary between high art and low art for all audiences. I believe in art for all; art beyond race, gender, age, wealth, ability and disability. You can learn more about the cardboard sculptor and his practice in the short video below. (via  James Lake )

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