Elsa James is an artist living in Southend-on-Sea, who grew up in west London. She has been working as an artist, producer and creative activist since 2010, establishing a practice spanning performance, text and language-based art, digital media, socio-political and socially engaged art. She is particularly interested in the dynamics of race, ethnicity, ‘race’ performativity, culture and ‘black’ Britishness within the African diasporic context. In 2012 she set up TIME Projects – a local community arts organisation, as a reaction to the borough’s disproportionate cultural and economic differences between neighbouring wards. TIME Projects centres its work around the communities in those wards who do not have the same opportunities to engage in the local arts offer. She was recently awarded research and development funding from the Arts Council England to work on a new body of solo work. The work will respond to some of the little-known stories currently held within Essex Record Office’s collections of African and Caribbean communities who lived or passed through the county of Essex between the 16th and 19th Century.
Elsa worked with Magic Me as a guest artist from Metal working with us on our Decorum project in Southend and is currently working with Sue Mayo on our new women’s project for 2020