About Nick James

I graduated from the University of East Anglia in Norwich with a degree in Development Studies (economics and politics of developing countries) in 1977.  I then spent two years restoring and selling old bicycles in Norwich.  From 1979 to 1984 I worked as a residential social worker, firstly with teenagers in care and then with adults living with mental illness.  During this time I also trained as a Gestalt psychotherapist.

From 1985 I have been designing and making kites and for the last nineteen years running workshops in schools.  I started by making seagulls, falcons and pterodactyls.  I then moved on to designing more abstract and complex kites such as my Angels and Devils.

In 1998 I won a prize in the 'Concours de Creation' at Dieppe International Kite Festival (this is the Olympics of the kite world!)  The theme of the competition was Demons and Wonders and my entry was a Golden Angel with two red and black Little Devils flying around it.  The prize was a trip to the fantastic Cervia International Kite Festival in Italy.  I have been returning to this festival for the last eleven years and the sky and sea there inspired me to make my Blue Angel and Woman kites.

In 2000 I was also lucky enough to be invited to the Nagasaki International Kite Festival in Japan where I met many traditional Japanese kitemakers.  I stayed for a week with my friend Seikoo Nakamura who has been making Hata kites (these are native to Nagasaki) for 67 years.  I had a two day masterclass with him which was fantastic.

As well as these festivals abroad I am also regulary invited to fly my kites at festivals around the UK, notably Weymouth, Sunderland, Basingstoke, Portsmouth, Bedford, Cleethorpes and Bristol.

Recently I have been making ground based installations letting the wind play a part in the shape and movement of these sculptures.  I am also keen to involve passers-by in the work.  At Bristol Kite Festival 2005 I invited everyone to attach wishes to my 'Wish Catcher' sculpture and these were released high up from a kite in September.  I also constructed the Wish Catcher at Schloss Hof  Kite Festival in Austria and brought these wishes home to Bristol to release.