To call James Cousins (Christchurch, New Zealand, 1965), a landscape painter is quite an understatement – although a significant proportion of his work is largely influenced by local flora and fauna, Cousins’ paintings go beyond the simple and objective representation of flowers. While their form and structure serve as basal layers within his work, Cousins’ unique surface manipulation renders his eventual grid-like patterned canvases as challenging, conceptual images.
Intricate lines are added in layers upon the floral forms obscuring their true nature, giving a structural ambiguity to his work. Together these stylistic elements culminate in an oeuvre that is testing and thought provoking – one must search within his paintings for the canvases’ true identities. This notion of a search for clarity can perhaps even be aligned with something spiritual, enlightening, and therefore elevates Cousins’ work from sheer landscape painting to a more conceptual realm where influence, paint and canvas become the subject itself.