James, from Ningi, Queensland, Australia has been sculpting his incredibly life like pieces since early 1999, and since that time his unique works have found homes in all capital cities in Australia, also England, Switzerland, New Zealand, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S.A.
James discovered his talent for creating his amazing pieces of art whilst running an auto recycling business in Brisbane. His first piece was an off road race buggy, inspired by a sport James had participated in for some ten years. The response from friends and customers was so positive that he was encouraged to create more pieces; cars, bikes animals and birds, all of which sold readily. James likes to incorporate old and interesting car parts into his sculptures. Nothing is bent into shape; the original integrity of each car part is maintained. “The parts themselves are often interesting, some are as much as eighty years old”, says James.
After his first successful exhibition in Brisbane in June 1999, James was asked to be the feature artist at the Brisbane International Motor Show, an invitation which was to be extended for three consecutive years. A story by “Unique Cars” magazine on James’ work resulted in him being commissioned by the magazine to provide the trophy for the “Unique Cars” “Car of the Century” Award, which was subsequently awarded to Ford, for their Model T. This trophy now resides at the head office of Ford Australia , Melbourne.
Commissions for Yamaha Australia , Toyota Australia (including a shark for presentation to Greg Norman) were secured during 2000. Also a Formula 1 car was displayed in the VIP “Paddock Club” lounge at the 2000 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, Melbourne. It was in this year that the sculptures became James’ full time occupation. A highlight of James’ career was in June 2001 when he and his work appeared on one of Australia ’s most popular TV programmes, “Burke’s Backyard”. Successful exhibitions in Sydney & Melbourne followed. In August 2001 James travelled to the U.S.A. where he displayed works at the “Concourso Italiano” at Pebble Beach , California.
A second Sydney exhibition with Michael Commerford Gallery in May 2002 confirmed the desirability of his works with one lucky enthusiast acquiring no less than six major pieces! In November 2002 James was commissioned to provide a feature piece for the Essen Motor Show in Germany . His choice of a ¾ life-size Type A Auto Union race car was met with much admiration and acclaim. The finished piece was 11 ft long and had used over six hundred car parts. James’ first exhibition in Perth , the capital of Western Australia held at Gadfly Gallery, Dalkeith, in December 2002 was greeted with excellent reviews and a near sell out response.
James’ first exhibition for 2003 was held during August, at the Tree Frog Gallery, Maleny , Queensland . This was a very successful exhibition for James, which was followed up with a successful exhibition with Michael Commerford Gallery, Sydney in December, 2003. In early July 2004 several of James’s Aussie animal pieces were used in a series of advertisements for Toyota Parts and Service, featuring the famous ‘Crocodile Hunter’, Steve Irwin. Whether the purpose of the sculpture is for a private collection, public art, or simply a “must have”, James Corbett’s sculptures are undoubtedly some of the finest examples of assemblage art that you would be likely to encounter anywhere in the world.