(Born 1994, Harare) James Alexander McKenzie’s work encompasses painting, poetry, performance art, installation, spoken word and theatre. Drawing from an expansive pool of source material that includes personal experiences, his methodology is characterised by intuition and spontaneity. In his avant-garde stage-act performances, which is the prevailing manifestation of his practice, he blends theatre, poetry, spoken word and stand-up. Dry humour; parody; absurdity: these are trademarks of his writing and performance work. McKenzie has been the recipient of several awards and has exhibited his work widely in Scotland. He is featured in several private and public collections. He graduated from Dundee University in 2017 and studied for a period at Goldsmiths University between 2021 and 2022.

McKenzie has exhibited, performed publicly and lead workshops at galleries including the Royal Scottish Academy, the Scottish National Gallery, Embassy Gallery, generatorPROJECTS, Summerhall and Orkney’s Pier Arts Centre. The awards he has received include a £5000 bursary from the RSA Residencies for Scotland scheme, the RSA Carnegie Scholarship for painting for his work in 2018’s RSA New Contemporaries and the James Guthrie Orchar Memorial Art Prize from Dundee University. McKenzie’s work is featured in several private and public collections in Scotland, including the Pier Arts Centre, Dundee University and the Royal Scottish Academy. 

Contact

mckenzie_james@hotmail.co.uk

Education

2014-2017: Art and Philosophy BA at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee (graduated with honours first class)  

2012-2013: General Foundation at Leith School of Art, Edinburgh

Awards

2019: £5000 bursary from RSA Residencies for Scotland scheme to undertake a residency at the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney to focus on a collaborative project with Daniel O'Dempsey 

2018: RSA New Contemporaries Carnegie Scholarship for painting 

2017: RSA New Contemporaries 2018 Selected Artist  

2017: James Guthrie Orchar Memorial Art Prize, Dundee University 

2012: Robert Patterson Pencil Portrait Award, George Watson’s College 

Selected Exhibition, Performance and Workshops

2022: I'll Have Another, live performance at The Grass is Always Greener on the Sa-Lawn opening, Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh

2021: Tides that Bind, Tides that Break, poetry reading at private view, Aberdour

2021: Farewell My Darlings, theatrical poetry reading with visual art backdrop, St. Margaret's House, Edinburgh 

2021: Sum Poems, 50 poetry tape-cassettes, Volk Gallery, Dundee

2021: The Soapworks Residencies, two day mini-residency and live performance with Hidden Door, Edinburgh

2021: Something’s Brewing…, virtual experimental poetry workshop for MFA students of the Royal College of Art, London

2021: Life After Art School, virtual artist talk for students of Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen

2020: On the Same Boat, G1, St. Margaret's House, Edinburgh

2020: Nobility Pursuit, G16 Exhibition Space, St. Margaret's House, Edinburgh

2020: Beta Blockers, live spoken word performance, Forest Café, Edinburgh

2020: Academy Late, live spoken word performance at the launch event for the new RSA Salon membership scheme, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

2019-20: Alba down to Nippon, theatrical poetry reading, OPEN SSA+VAS, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

2019: Fenris Wolf and Ragnar Thorfinn Act 3, collaborative exhibition with Daniel O'Dempsey, WASPS Studios, Stromness, Orkney

2019: Fenris Wolf and Ragnar Thorfinn Act 2, collaborative performance with Daniel O'Dempsey and Clair Westrop, Stromness Academy, Orkney

2019: Fenris Wolf and Ragnar Thorfinn Act 1, collaborative performance with Daniel O'Dempsey and Eric Linklater, Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney

2019: Experimental Poetry Workshop, part of Piergroup, The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney

2019: Red Lite Radio, podcast with Daniel O'Dempsey, Orkney

2019: PEPSI 2, St. Margaret's House, Edinburgh

2019: theatrical spoken word performance at Michael Kay Terrence's The Marks toProve It private view, Summerhall, Edinburgh

2019: JET BABY, theatrical poetry reading, part of Annuale Festival 2019, Heart of Midlothian, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

2019: PEPSI GENESIS, Dock Street Studios, Dundee

2019: The Assassination of Dr. Queso Empanada, live theatre at SA-LON SUCKERS,Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh

2019: Round One, poetry reading at private view, The Bridewell Studios, Liverpool

2018-19: CONCORD NUDIST, theatrical storytelling at the SSA 121st Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

2018: ECSTASY AB INITIO, unauthorized poetry reading, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

2018: Live Music// Jam Session// Poetry ETC, The George Orwell, Dundee

2018: RSA New Contemporaries, exhibition and live spoken word performance, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

2017: RSA Open Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy

2017: Best of Degree Show, Six Foot Gallery, Glasgow

2017: Annual Art, Design & Architecture Degree Show, Duncan and Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee

2017: Trans-Fixed Live Performance Event, generatorPROJECTS, Dundee

2016: ATTRIBUTES, Room 601, Duncan of Jordanstone

2016: Multi Exhibition, Matthew Entrance Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone

2016: Art & Philosophy’s First Social Event 16/17, Matthew Entrance Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone

2015: Culloden Viaduct Exhibition, Culloden Battlefield Centre, Inverness

Publication

2022: Bollock Naked, self-published zine, Edinburgh

2021: Grace and Consistency, riso-printed pamphlet with Yalla Riso, published in Dundee and distributed in Edinburgh

2021: Littoral Magazine Issue 3: Spring Equinox, online magazine

2020: All You Can Eat, collaborative zine curated and edited by  Alex Weir

2019: Alba down to Nippon, self-published zine, Edinburgh

2019: Polemical Zine Issue 11: Social, online zine, Canada

2019: New River Press Yearbook 2018-19, New River Press, Fitrovia, London

2018: The Celestial Midnight Bar, self-published, Edinburgh

2018: Untitled Poetry Collection, self-published, Dundee

2017: Prose Poems, self-published, Dundee

Using Format