James Fathers



Conceal/Reveal:  New Work from the Faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts


November 6, 2014 – January 18, 2015


Artist Statement


One Village

These images illustrate my research interests over the last decade. The majority of my research took place in south India and focused on the role of participatory approaches to design training as a factor in the development of small enterprises.

The images in this compilation illustrate a single village called Narayanpura in Karnataka.  The village is unusual in the fact that it is home to a large concentration of terracotta crafts people. I worked with these crafts people for over a year, exploring ways in which design could positively impact the way they produced and marketed their range of products.

The process of taking and using these images was an intrinsic and essential part of my research approach. It helped me to understand the context I was working in, the people I was working alongside and illustrated the complexities and seeming contradictions of life in modern India.

The key themes that I have been wresting with in my research are the concepts of intervention, immersion, and facilitation approaches in relation to the role of design in these contexts, with a focus on the questions of how to engage, partner and co-create