James Hart Dyke, born in England in 1966, saw, at the age of eight, a study by John Constable in the Victoria & Albert Museum which set him on the path to becoming a painter. Only after finishing a degree in architecture at the Royal College of Art in 1992, however, did he decide to become a professional artist. He went on to study painting at The City and Guilds of London Art School where he was guided by John Ward RA and Norman Blamey RA.
At the beginning of his career James commonly combined his natural ability for landscape with his architectural training to paint country houses. He undertook numerous commissions both in the UK and abroad, including painting the home of HRH The Prince of Wales. In the last several years, however, his work has become significantly more varied. In 2009, the centenary year of M16, he became ‘artist in residence’ for the British Secret Intelligence Service. Given the intensity of the security implications, an art commission from SIS was both astounding and unexpected. Dyke was invited behind usually firmly closed doors to work under conditions of strictest secrecy. The resulting series of works were exhibited at Mount Street Galleries in 2011 and clearly illustrated Dyke’s unique interpretation of a working environment that is both dangerous and surreal. The exhibition attracted international media coverage both on television and in the press.
In 2012 Dyke was commissioned to design official silk screen prints to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise. Working with producers Barbara Brocoli and Michael G. Wilson, Dyke was given the opportunity to experiment with alternative forms of image making, introducing a more graphic side to his work. Much of his more recent work endeavours to fuse classic forms of painting, which value the sensibilities of traditional brushwork, with these more graphic elements.