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James Wilde





James Wilde is a visual artist working with photography, installation, moving image and text. He is currently studying MA Photography at the Royal College of Art and has been the student photography representative of RCA2020 and Editor of the publication Fall Into Place 2020. He is organising the RCA Photography Programme forthcoming physical show taking place later this summer. In 2020 he organised Strange Halves an online student-led talk series, where he spoke in a panel discussion titled At Second Glance. He was also co-lead of Writing the Night, an Across RCA workshop held in 2019

James holds a First Class BA (Hons) in Photography from London College of Communication and is a member of Writing Photographs, a strand of The Photography and the Contemporary Imaginary Research Hub. He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, including Cambridge, London, New York and Italy. Recent group exhibitions include: Connection Lost at Dyson Gallery, Battersea London (2020) and Everything the Same // Everything a Little Different at The Newington Art Academy, London (2019). Recent publications and features include: Fall Into Place RCA (2020) Fotofilmic (2020) and the article Explorations of the Self, Revolv Collective (2019).


Surfacing from a place of fear and intrigue, this work focuses on autobiography, traces of personal failure and the photographic. Through distilling images, by reworking them through alternative processes, these photographs investigate the use of metaphor, the collapse of masculinity and the potential to overcome shame. Visibility is shifted and veiled, through the physical deterioration of the photograph and the slow death of the image. Subjects both pull out of the darkness and are lost within it.

Moving between thoughts on the night, shame and the queer image, this research considers ideas of abjection, the fallen male figure and the apologetic. The notion of fixity has been crucial in terms of both the physicality of the works along with the concept of paralysis (or more so, the third stage of human decomposition; rigor mortis). The stiffening feeling of shame and Gershen Kaufman’s perception of shame being the ‘fear of self-exposure’ have resulted in this language echoing through to the darkroom. Solarisation has transformed some of these latent images (the process whereby the prints have exposure to light again), rendering a poetic analogy to marginal spaces, to being on the edge, being between states and the space of the night too.

Experimenting with the body, the still-life and interior spaces the limitations of the photographic image are revealed. The possibility of failure embedded in the process and becomes a driving force in the work. The photographs seek to harness an agency, where the self-reflexive nature of the work, uncovers a deeper analysis of shame through visual correspondence, scale and the play between private and public interaction. Photography here stands in as a visceral medium for and suggests an exchange between the image and the observer.



Exhibition History


  • Gallery Managment Assistant – Serpentine Galleries, London
  • Show Lead Coordinator, with fists, it kicks, it bites, London (forthcoming)
  • Editor for fall into place publication with Folium Publishing, London
  • Virtual Show Representative, RCA2020, London
  • Gallery Host – Serpentine Galleries, London
  • Project Lead of Strange Halves – RCA Student-Led Lecture Series


  • Project Lead of Writing the Night – Across RCA, London
  • Organiser of RCA Offprint Table – Tate Modern Turbine Hall, London


  • Member of Writing Photographs – The Photography and the Contemporary Imaginary Research Hub
  • Assistant/Performer for Brenda Vega – Threefold MA Photography Show, Ugly Duck Gallery London
  • Gallery Assistant – Lychee One Gallery London


  • Peer Mentor – University of Arts London

Group Exhibitions


  • with fists, it kicks, it bites – Webber Gallery, TJ Boulting & Edel Assanti – Fitzrovia, London (forthcoming)
  • Odyssey – Online Exhibition, The South West Collective
  • RCA2020 Virtual Show – Royal College of Art, London
  • Connection Lost – Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, Battersea London
  • Blue Hour / PPS – Royal College of Art, Battersea London (Curator)


  • Writing the Night Across RCA – Royal College of Art, Battersea London
  • Everything the Same // Everything a Little Different – The Art Academy Newington, London
  • Writing Photographs III – The Art Academy Newington, Wandsworth London
  • Offprint London – Tate Modern Turbine Hall, London (Project Lead)
  • Education in Progress / Research Fortnight – London College of Communication, London
  • Work In Progress Show – Royal College of Art, Battersea London


  • Photography Project Space – Royal College of Art, Battersea London
  • GLITCH – Drums Unlimited Studios, Peckham London


  • 40 Months / In Exile Group Exhibition – New Cross Gate London
  • Photography on a Postcard – The Printspace, Shoreditch London
  • Writing Photographs Group Exhibition – LCC Studio Space Elephant and Castle London


  • 90 Degrees Final Year Show – London College of Communication, London
  • Visitatori – Studio Guardione, Palermo Italy


  • Flesh & Roots – No.63 Gallery Kennington, London
  • Offprint London – Tate Modern Turbine Hall, London


  • Close To The Bone – School of Visual Arts, New York
  • Round The Corner – 5th Base Gallery Brick Lane (Curator)
  • BAP1 Book Launch – BAR Gallery, London


  • Foundation End of Year Show – London College of Communication, London

Publications / Features


  • with fists, it kicks, it bites – Online
  • LUX Magazine – Online
  • Quite Queerly, RCA2020 Collections – Online
  • fall into place, RCA Exhibition Publication – Print (forthcoming)
  • Fotofilmic – Online


  • Writing the Night Vol. 1  with Daniel John Bracken – Print
  • The Tool & The Eye with Veronica Viacava (Self-published)
  • Explorations of the self, Revolv Collective – Online
  • RCA Work in Progress Catalogue – Print


  • Photography on a Postcard – Online
  • Losthenfound – Online
  • Don’t Take Pictures, Photo of the Day – Online
  • Lenscratch Content Aware – Online
  • Streithouse Space – Online


  • Photoworks – Online
  • The Latent Image – Online
  • The Photocaptionist – Online
  • 1000 Words Mag Twitter – Online
  • Writing Photographs – Online
  • 90 Degrees Exhibition Catalogue – Print
  • Visitatori – Online Catalogue


  • Der Greif x LCC Collaboration Zine – Print
  • Distant Stains (Self-published)





  • Everything the Same // Everything a Little Different – In Conversation with Ramona Güntert



Education History
  • 2018/20       MA Photography – Royal College of Art
  • 2013/16       BA (Hons) Photography – London College of Communication (First Class Honours)
  • 2014            Study Abroad – School of Visual Arts, New York (Fall Semester)
  • 2012/13       Foundation Diploma: Art & Design (Photography) – London College of Communication (Distinction)


Awards and Trophies

Residencies & Awards

  • 2020            SW Darkroom x RCA Award and Residency
  • 2019            Writing Photographs Residency – The Art Academy Newington, London
  • 2016            Photoworks x LCC Award

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