Modest; Impressions of Tokyo

By Matilda Bourdillon

James Gardiner is a talented London–based artist who due to a series of life-changing events did not pick up drawing again till the age of 31, (as he always drew from childhood) whilst sitting at a junction near Tokyo Police station. He enjoys capturing the vibrancy of city life in his artwork and the essence of some of the world’s major cities.

He has visited and captured many major cities like Barcelona, Florence, New York, London and Vienna. His most recent exhibition captures Tokyo, where James’ drawing style developed from the standard watercolour – to the use of Fineliner pens ‘on top’ of washes and blocks of grey.  

His work often attempts to convey the unique atmosphere created by people passing through in crowded situations, he ‘likes the idea of recording what happened whilst there, rather than just the structures present.’ He initially used copic wide and original marker pens in his work to cleverly capture the London city structure and the fragile outlines of people passing through.

The development of his style of art has progressed over the years and recently he has started experimenting with other types of media like acrylic paint pens to create more abstract captures. He has also experimented with more alternative types of application methods like clingfilm, used credit cards and fingers, fingernails and knuckles.

His upcoming exhibition ‘Impressions of Tokyo’ will be displayed for private viewings on the 27th of August 2019 between 6.30 – 8.30 pm at ‘The Former Newington Library.’ It will then continue as an exhibition from the 28th August to the 2nd September 2019 between 12pm – 5pm.

James also sells his signed original pieces of work.

Check out his work on his website –

Find out more about the exhibition here –

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