”Like the work of all great artists, James Castles evades definition and fair description. Since moving to Idaho in the late 1990’s, I have marveled at the world that this man indefatigably conjured over many decades of solitary work.
One of the recurrent themes, of many, in Castle’s oeuvre is his evident fascination with birds. Though on first contact his constructions may strike one as essentialist, they never fail to capture the indispensable nature of their avian subjects. This ability not to be waylaid by superficial details and to cut to the heart of the subject matter, is characteristic of Castle’s entire body of work. I took this trait as inspiration for my series of small bird sculptures, and my hope is that they have at least a modicum of the captivating that I hold for Castles constructions.
Impressive aspects of Castle’s practice are the humble implements and ingredients that he employed. Marking an important approach to the work, these tools, which look convincingly like pencils but are actually pieces of wood sharpened to a point and dipped in his homemade “ink”, exemplify Castle as an artist. I began to see them as works of art in their own right. Though not literal copies, my porcelain tools and boxes represent an attempt to capture a bit of magnetism that emanates from the beguiling originals.”
Learn more about William Lewis here.