Artist James Lake has used cardboard as his medium of choice for the last 20 years. The-UK based sculptor pieces together multiple layers of the recyclable material with hot glue to create free-standing figural sculptures that are often a reflection of his own image. Lake was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 17, and began working the material after his right leg was amputated. During rehabilitation he searched for a material that could be easily accessible from his bedroom.
“I wanted a medium that can be used to sculpt beyond traditional material and without the need of an arts studio,” says Lake. “The end result was the fine crafting of an inexpensive common place and recyclable material. I manipulate cardboard into taking a form which is vastly beyond its original function as a container to transport food and commercial goods.”
Lake continues to discover the possibilities of the versatile material, and has become further interested in the value his time, effort, and care placed on the disposable packaging. Currently the artist runs art workshops in his community, providing a resource to propel sculptural artist practices in local schools and colleges. You can learn more about the cardboard sculptor and his practice in the short video below.