James R Ford

Crane Factory

Charlotte Road   |   Residency   |   07.02.08 – 16.03.08

A Thousand Cranes - Work in progress
James R Ford, 2008
Studio View:
Golden Blossom - Work in progress
James R Ford, 2008
Blossom (Cream with golden lattices) - Work in progress
James R Ford, 2008
Blossom (Pink with flowers and waves) - Work in progress
James R Ford, 2008
Blossom (Pink with flowers and waves) (detail) - Work in progress
James R Ford, 2008
Studio View:
A Thousand Cranes - Work in progress
James R Ford, 2008

FERREIRA PROJECTS is proud to announce James R Ford’s new Residency project – Crane Factory. During his residency Ford will produce a new body of work emerging from his fascination with the ancient Japanese practice of Origami and Marcel Duchamp’s (supposed) abandonment of art for chess.

Like Marcel Duchamp, who in 1923 declared that he was no longer a practising artist and instead both played and studied chess for the rest of his life to the near exclusion of all other activity, so Ford became disillusioned with his art practice and decided to dedicate his time to making Origami Cranes instead of creating any new work. He became obsessed by the paper folding process and intrigued by this ancient art. Origami Cranes have great significance in Japan – the giving of a folded crane to someone is to wish them a safe journey home, and legend has it that if a person makes a thousand cranes they will be granted a wish by the Japanese Gods. Hoping to have his own wish granted, Ford began folding cranes in earnest and, at the same time, made studies of these folded objects and patterned papers. Much like Duchamp who claimed to have abandoned art for playing chess, but secretly worked on his last major piece Étant donnés for 20 years, so was Ford, unbeknownst to himself, developing a new body of work.

By giving in to his obsession with Origami, Ford folded 1,000 cranes using a variety of coloured and patterned papers, which will be displayed as a large installation. His adjacent studies take the form of watercolour and gouache paintings. In a cyclical way he turned his studies into patterns, created his own paper designs and used these to fold more cranes. Ford has also created a digital animation of infinitely spinning rainbow cranes and large intricate hand finished pattern prints, inspired by the numerous Origami papers used, which references the more contemporary Japanese culture.