Summer is holiday time: bright, blue skies, cold drinks, warm, lazy days, good music blaring, and every night begins with a sunset that sets an ocean horizon ablaze. Ferdinand was right, “It’s always better on Holiday”[i], life’s quality is affirmed so much that you can’t help but cry out in agreence “I’m alive!”.[ii]
James Dodds Pacific Riff takes the known visual anchors of summer and condenses them down into a corresponding colour palette, strong sunset reds, oranges, yellows, ice cold green lime dashed drinks, and bright sky blues. These colours and what they signify is immediately clear, peered at close range, out of focus, through a peephole surrounded by the black boundary of the edges of the picture plane.
Each painting becomes a portal to a proposed bright, coastal utopia, beyond the impenetrable looking-glass of the paintings surface. It’s impossible for the works to not act as triggers, evoking personal memories with the coloured codes of experience: the crisp taste of a cold drink with a lemon wedge, the feel of the sun on your skin, a cool breeze in the shade of a palm.
These associations are also enforced by the artworks titles such as Deep Lime, Peachy Mando, Icy Menthol, Mango Umber, Alpine Tropicana. The titles themselves are surreal, content, often contradictory, marriages of words associated with the beach and holidaying.
If only getting away from it all was as easy a trip as Alices, except minus the mania, and falling into the warm, salty sea-breeze of a Dodd constructed paradise of colour.
“GET BACK TO WORK!”[iii]