A month into Alexander James’ stay in Russia, his studio at the Red October chocolate factory in the heart of Russia’s capital is up and running. This is where James will be creating his new Russia-inspired body of work for the next three months until the opening of his solo show ‘Rastvorennaya Pechal’ (Dissolved Ennui)  in one of the main contemporary art spaces in the country – Triumph Gallery – in April 2014. 

James relocated his whole studio to Moscow at the beginning of December 2013. For his new home, he chose a very difficult space; a disused basement of the historic red-brick complex that housed one of the oldest Russian confectionaries 'Red October' between 1851 and 1994. Today, the surrounding space is occupied by high profile architects, digital bureaus, art galleries and media companies. In stark contrast to these refined surrounding the space chosen was very primal and had not been used in over 50 years and was in need of major work before the creation of his artworks could begin.

The previously unused basement is now transformed into a fully-functional artist studio with James’ works from preceding series hanging on the walls, props for new work ready to be used, and hay stacks serving as the artist’s bed.

For James, it is only genuine to make the works for the Russian exhibition from within Russia itself, using local materials and inspiration. The idea prompted him to surrender his London studio and move to a country he had never seen until only a few weeks prior for what will be the coldest winter months in a space without heating.

The beginning of January marks the start of the process of creation of works in the Pre-Raphaelite style with figurative pieces; with tanks being prepared, models arriving and dresses being made by hand.

If you are in Moscow between January and March and you would like to arrange an appointment to the first studio of a British artist in Moscow for decades; please contact: