James Cabaniuk employs abstraction and strategies of queer opacity and temporalities to construct thickly layered large scale abstract oil paintings. Seeking to liberate personal trauma from shame, and exploring queer identity and history, the authoritative singularity and machismo of 20th Century Abstract Expressionist painting becomes a world wherein Cabaniuk navigates their own complex relationship to the power it embodies - simultaneously fetishising and critiquing it. Materiality and performativity are held in tension by Cabaniuk and materials such as confetti, glitter, and soil serve as tools of celebration, resilience, and connection. Through gestural spontaneity the paintings become energetic sites that embody concepts of fun, camp, sexuality, gender, self-destruction, healing, and community to challenge and embrace boundaries. 

James Cabaniuk (b. 1987, Carlisle, UK) lives and works between Manchester and London. They received their Bachelors of Arts from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2015 and graduated with Masters in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths University of London in 2023. Primarily working with large format painting, their practice uses personal and canonical histories to debunk myths of shame around trauma and queer identity. They started and ran horseshed, a queer archive and exhibition space in a rural shed and held online. They were commissioned by Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners to commemorate their 30th anniversary. During their MFA they transformed the men’s toilets in the studios into the gay bar LIPS, hosting parties and installing a glory hole. Their work has been shown at Workplace (London, UK), Slugtown, (Newcastle, UK) , ARTLAND Milano (Milan), with Des Bains as part of Minor Attractions/Cornershop (London, UK), Queer Direct (London, UK), All Welcome (Vilnius Lithuania), Almanac (London, UK), Lima Zulu (London, UK) and ongoing curatorial project Archeology (various locations, UK) with artists Jamie Bradley.