James Nilsen-Misra

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A video installation with drawings & editioned prints. The work forms part of a series, Disclosed Projection, exploring the intimate space of the home. Objects from the artist’s personal life are staged in the studio and lit with a high contrast light, reducing forms to flat silhouettes. It looks to disclose the everyday passage of light through a space in time. The projection of this light becomes a perceptual study of the ephemeral nature of light and the content associated with shadow as personal projection. The drawings include a central character underscoring the filmic nature of the work. These characters are non-specific, unnarrated and free to interpretation. Objects in our homes, our physical shadows, give access to a personal interior otherwise inaccessible. This work challenges us to focus on the light of the present, the uniqueness that shades of light imbue into the mundane objects in our homes.


Nilsen-Misra’s work has been shown by NMMAM, Ebony, Rust en Vrede and ABSA galleries. He was selected to participate in ThatArtFair 2015, Cape Town Art Week Open Studios and the BASA entrepreneurship programme. He has collaborated with Artist Proof Studio’s Pro-shop and performed art pieces for Elgin Rust and Athi Patra Ruga. NM is a mixed media artist who’s work spans installation, pastel drawing, illustration, animation, film production design and performance. Perceptual studies of the ephemeral nature of light provide a platform for his exploration of the concepts associated with external projection, and interior disclosure. He is particularly interested in the process of revealing and concealing identities and staged realities. With a BTech Fine Art degree and National Diploma in illustration from NMMU and a BA(Hons) degree in production design from AFDA Cape Town, he managed two of Cape Town’s leading prop houses before joining Handspring Puppet Company on many local and international projects including the Tony Award winning production War Horse for five years. James serves on the executive board of the Association for Visual Art. His film and theatre background feeds into his work, which deals with the stage.