James McCallum Australia


Year of Residency: 2019


  • 2011 Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours, majoring in sculpture, National Art School
  • 2017 Associate Diploma of Music Teaching for the Trumpet, St. Cecilia


  • 2018 February ‘In Motion’, Workshop Art Centre
  • 2018 December, Confluence, Gallery Lane Cove & Creative Studios Annual Show
  • 2018 October, Finalist for Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi
  • 2018 March, Imag(in)ing, Workshop Art Centre
  • 2017 September, Sculpture in the Garden finalist
  • 2017 March, Harbour Sculpture Finalist
  • 2016 September, Sawmillers Sculpture Prize finalist
  • 2016 September, Wombat Hollow Sculpture, Maunsell Wickes
  • 2016 July, Sculpture, Maunsell Wickes Gallery
  • 2015 December, Huntington Music Exhibition, Maunsell Wickes
  • 2015 September, Miniature 6x6x6 Inch Exhibition, Defiance Gallery
  • 2015 September, Sculpture, Maunsell Wickes Gallery

Residencies/ Private collection

  • 2018 February, Sydney Olympic Park Artist in Residency Program
  • Private collection – Luca Belgiorno-Nettis

Artist statement

I make sculptural work that challenges the history of abstract sculpture from the 1950s and 1960s. Having an interest in the relationship between art and architecture, I experiment with modern aesthetics of architecture and how it can be used to create context and dynamic spaces in sculpture. Having been strongly influenced by Anthony Caro, Issac Witkin and Ron Robertson Swann I have looked to build upon their methods of hard-edge abstraction and how they interpret ideas of expressing weight, compression, volume, lightness and colour in sculpture.
I enjoy working with a very wide range of materials from acrylic, plasticine, foam core to heavy materials such as concrete, wood and steel, all integral to the natural character of a work. For exterior sculpture I have recently been using concrete, as it offers a neutral and heavy character and a reference to modern construction, whereas for small, interior pieces, impermanent materials such as plastic, plasticine, clay and paper provide me with the freedom to make my work vibrant, malleable and experimental.
Having lived and grown up in Sydney, Australia I reflect on the fast-pasted urban development that continues to grow. Living and working in the western suburbs, I have seen the environment of residential denitrification and population increase drastically. This has led me to move towards a clean and hard-edge characteristic.
There is no doubt that there are controversial aspects of housing development in Sydney. The cosmetic and unreliable infrastructure that is being made allows for efficiency and fast growth. The bases of my sculpture is not intended to make any derogatory statements towards the ecological responsibilities, rather to allow audiences to question the impacts of technology.
Travelling to new environments helps me to open up my practice and to take on new ideas. I find that when I work with a new group of artists in a new environment it becomes easier to explore and to experiment with new ideas.


My motivation for applying to take part in the Belgrade Art Studio residency is to inspire new directions for my sculpture. This opportunity would also allow me to make new contacts and spend time in a different cultural and artistic environment. I know such experiences would challenge my current thinking. Ideas from other sculptors and artists from other disciplines will jolt me out of my current practice, having a profound impact on the future development of my work. During my stay I would work on drawing projects that inform my sculpture and make small scale sculptures that respond to the differences that I find when contrasted with Australia.

Time spent in Belgrade would also provide wonderful opportunities to visit some of the vast historical collections and contemporary art galleries. The rich art culture and traditional western architecture seen at the National Museum of Serbia, House of Vuk’s Foundation, Stari dvor, Despot Stefan Tower, Nebojša Tower and the Albertina Museum would offer an understanding of Serbia’s heritage and how its culture has developed. Visiting contemporary galleries including Eugster Belgrade, Gallery Beograd, Gallery Zvono and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Belgrade would increase my understanding of the current trends and future directions of local artists. Exposing myself to the cultural heritage of Belgrade and its contemporary artists I aim to foster ideas that help develop new projects.
With particular attention to Serbia’s contemporary artists Bosiljka Zirojević and Nikola Pesic I will look at the various ways they have challenged the traditions of abstract art. Looking closely at how geometric and other forms of abstraction can be expressed, I will study how different materials and mediums can be effectively to express composition, symbols and narrative.

Articles and Reviews

James’ website – Visit.