Fermata Festival

James Joslin – composer

James Joslin

James Joslin (b.1987) is an artist, composer and publisher based in the UK. He studied music under Simon Emmerson at De Montfort University where he was a member and contributor of John Richards’ Dirty Electronics Ensemble, performing concerts in the UK with several notable collaborators including Chris Carter (Throbbing Gristle), Keith Rowe (AMM) and Anna Meredith. Frequently working with performers such as Margaret Leng Tan, a leading exponent of John Cage’s music, James’ compositions have been performed internationally, with notable appearances at Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Singapore International Festival of Art, Foro Internacional de Música Nueva in Mexico and Gaudeamus Muziekweek. James began painting in November 2020 during the covid lockdown, repurposing his small flat as a makeshift studio to focus on developing portraiture and abstract works in oil.

What has creating art meant to you over the last year?

I was furloughed for much of 2020 and, towards the end of the year, began painting self-portraits as a way to mentally escape from the unfolding reality of the pandemic. Allowing myself the opportunity to obsess over this new world of colour, shape, and the way paint acts and behaves has given me a real focus during a period that most of us will want to forget. As time progressed, I began simultaneously to paint abstract works, often focused on a single dominant colour, and reflecting on the artform’s similarities to music.

Fenella Humphreys in Blue

Oil on canvas

12 x 12 inches


Black on Blue

Oil on canvas

16 x 12 inches


…an entire universe vanishes…

Oil on canvas

20 x 16 inches