James R Ford is a British artist whose practice is engaged with pastimes, pursuits and obsessions. Ford delves into the activities and influences of his childhood as a way of both embarking and staying put. Exploring notions of repetition, boredom and idiocy with an overt sense of humour and pathos. His body of work consists of projects and investigations based around observations, process and play: focusing on drawing, assemblage, installation and film. He also utilises the Internet as a means of creating and disseminating ideas. Ford currently lives and works in Wellington (NZ).
Ford's best known artwork, House Gymnastics, is an exceptional example of the artist's knowledge and use of mass media to generate and distribute artwork. In 2002 Ford, with collaborator Spencer Harrison, created the faux fitness regime which started as an online project, developed a cult following, and became an internationally published book. In 2006 Ford co-curated the Kitson Kaleidoscope event with Mark McGowan: a two hour performance beamed live on the internet from Ford's bedroom in London. Participating artists included Sally O'Reilly, Russell Herron, Sarah Doyle and Brian Catling.
In April 2008 Ford exhibited a solo show of his work at Ferreira Projects, London, entitled Duchamp played Chess; I made Cranes in reference to Marcel Duchamp's (supposed) abandonment of art for chess and Ford's decision to dedicate his time to folding Origami cranes to the near exclusion of all other activity. Ford's follow up show in 2009, Only Boring People Get Bored, was an existentialist outing via reworked puzzles, games and by-products of boredom. The installation 33 Things To Do Before You Are 10 was shown as the result of his gallery residency as well as forming an integral part of the exhibition.