Nobility Pursuit is a developmental exhibition in which St Margaret’s House tenant and artist James Alexander McKenzie showcases some paintings which are part of an ongoing body of work. McKenzie’s allegorical painting’s principle interest is Being. Influenced by different philosophical attitudes, his whimsical paintings meditate joyfully on its different manifestations, drawing largely from personal experience. His work’s chief motivations are humility, compassion and simplicity.
To Be in the least convoluted way is to act spontaneously: to surrender to the stream of momentary experience rather than hopelessly resist it. McKenzie advocates Being spontaneously as a spiritual practice – by relinquishing our tendency to establish identity in our compulsion to label and judge and behave self-interestedly, we can discover a truer understanding of who we are in the constant and limitless creation always unfolding in Being. The lightness, simplicity and unity-of-all we can discover when we transcend our false ideas of who we are is what McKenzie hopes to remind us with his paintings.
James Alexander McKenzie (born Harare, 1994) is a Scottish painter whose impulsive and therapeutic practice encompasses collage, sculpture, installation, found objects, verse, prose, collaboration and performance. Taoist influence is at the core of his work and spontaneity is essential to his methodology.
McKenzie playfully explores themes which are often philosophically motivated and draws from personal experience. He is influenced by his work with children and people with disabilities and rejoices at their often-perfect sincerity; the ability to live in the moment without preconceptions gives life a fullness which he is humbled by.
McKenzie is the founder of Pepsi Collective, a 21-member artist collective comprised of several generations of DJCAD graduate artists. They host exhibitions around Scotland irregularly.