Born in London, 1987, Capper draws from his background in agricultural mechanics to fabricate large-scale mobile sculptures. Capper completed his BA at Chelsea College of Art and Design, before studying for an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. Capper received the Royal Society of British Sculptors’ Bursary Award in 2011 and was the youngest artist ever to be awarded The Jack Goldhill Prize for Sculpture from the Royal Academy of Arts in 2009, the same year he was nominated for the Jerwood Sculpture Prize.
Capper’s genre-defining industrial sculpture has been acknowledged internationally. Most recently in the exhibition Prototypes of Speculative Engineering at MONA – Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania (2021-22) a large-scale solo show that engages with environments specific to Australia. Two of Capper’s hydraulic sculptures, HYDRA SHUFFLE II (2014) and HYDRA STEP (2014), can be seen interacting with the vivid red earth found at Broken Hill: carving, cutting, and marking the earth of Australia’s oldest mining town.
Capper’s sculptural demonstrations have been made in collaboration with multiple notable institutions, museums, and non-profit organisations around the world including RIPPER TEETH IN ACTION at Modern Art Oxford (2011); DIVISIONS at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2013); SIX STEP at Rio dell’Orso with Alma Zevi for the Venice Biennale (2015); PROTOTYPES at CGP London (2016); ATLAS A SPOLETO! / TELESTEP A SPOLETO!, Anna Mahler Association project for the Mahler & LeWitt Studios & Festival dei Due Mondi, Spoleto, Italy (2016); SCULPTURE & HYDRAULICS at The Edge Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts, University of Bath (2017); JAMES CAPPER at Bathurst Art Gallery, New South Wales Australia (2017); HYDRA STEP / HYDRA SHUFFLE at Forth Arts Residency, Sydney, Australia (2017); AEROCAB at the 3-D Foundation, Verbier, Switzerland; (2019) and MUDSKIPPER, WALKING WORKBOAT commissioned by Battersea Power Station, London, UK (2021).