Pacific Riff


Lindberg Galleries, Melbourne, 2011

Sailing towards the new sound

James Dodd

Our pacific region and its modes of personal and cultural movement have been on my mind throughout this project. The work has evolved from a continual performance of patterns, played repeatedly over a six-month jam session, resulting in a number of outcomes, each the result of varied focus. Overall, I have been pursuing more instinctive making, less bound by objective resolution, in order to explore more elemental components of painting.

I have chosen a couple of limiting parameters for this project. Firstly, I am returning to a primary use of stencil process and, secondly, I am making a concentrated push towards abstraction. This body of work has been as much about colour as form. The choices are an extension of my ongoing use of vibrant fluorescent colours as hijacked from bill posters and street advertising. The titles play close to this part of my research, reflecting my focus on abstraction and a desire to avoid overt objective reference.

I have a predilection to the coarse, bold and simple elements of stencils such as the imperfections of street stencils and the sense of graphic impact that can reach over long distances. I like the fuzz and awkward quality of line that comes with the use of corrugated cardboard. I feel more energized to chase a sense of beautiful flaw rather than to pursue an imitation of photography.

I am interested in reinvigorating various inherent potentials of stencil. Stencils are a print process and their base application is that of repetition, which is elemental to pattern making. In this case my exploration of abstraction and patterning is a response to a number of starting points, some of which include contemporary pop fascinations with triangles, neo-geo tribalism and urban shamanism.

Further to this I have been thinking a lot about music and patterns. My taste is fairly rock centric, built from a few basic patterns – drum pattern, bass pattern, guitar pattern; all layered simply. In many cases I prefer this in a raw expressive format. Resolution and production do not determine emotional connection and quality of creativity. Art has to have Juju – that thing that you can’t quite describe; that feeling that moves you. I have been chasing the new sound, which is, in fact, a very old sound.