Hello, I’m James Connolly!
I launched this site just before my 19th birthday in my first year at the University of Kent and, as I’m sure you’re already aware, I’m an enormous fan of the arts.
Growing up in a small town in Northern England that was largely devoid of culture (there wasn’t even a cinema), there was little opportunity for me to immerse myself in the subjects that I now adore. My knowledge of contemporary art was limited to a small private gallery that specialised in kitschy Beryl Cook knock-offs and a worn Van Gogh sunflower print that hung in my living room.
The only way of accessing any kind of culture was through books and television. TV and books, therefore, quickly became my first love.
I think that there’s something particularly special about British television; we have our own style of broadcasting. Our drama is unique, our comedy unparalleled, and our factual output like no other.
My youthful self quickly became a telly addict; a millennial nightmare wielding a Radio Times. Threats of developing ‘square eyes’ did little to dissuade me from anticipating evenings in front of Doctor Who, Waterloo Road and Midsomer Murders.
At around the same time, I began taking the train to Liverpool as often as my allowance permitted. The world of contemporary art was opening itself up to me and swallowing me whole. I can still recall my first visit to the Tate gallery in Liverpool with vivid clarity. It was alien, unknown and incredibly thrilling. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was face-to-face with some of the greats: David Hockney, Eduardo Paolozzi and Barbara Hepworth.
I expanded my library of ancient exhibition catalogues and artist biographies to accommodate my growing passion.
It was at this time that I also became enthusiastic about contemporary theatre. An avid member of a local theatre group, I was consuming works by the likes of Willy Russell and Alan Bennett with voracious appetite.
With age, I realised my ambition of becoming a journalist and it wasn’t long before I had earned a place at the University of Kent’s Centre for Journalism where I began honing my craft.
Now, I continue to learn about the things I love and write about them as often as I can.
If you like JAMES REVIEWS, or you want to get in contact for any reason, please don’t hesitate to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or, if you’d prefer, get in touch with me via my twitter handle for James Reviews or my personal account. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the things I’ve reviewed (or haven’t). I hope you find my site interesting.