I have just returned from 2 months travel to Europe and the United States and have returned inspired and enthused! If you want to see some recent work there are a couple of group shows coming up that I will have pieces in.
THE DEVIL, MAX DAWN GALLERY, SA
Come along to what will be a very entertaining selection of works by a great list of artists at Adelaide’s most exciting new independent gallery. Opens 7pm, Saturday the 10th of October, 47 Phillips St, Thebarton.
Max Dawn Farcebook Propaganda available here
WHYALLA ART PRIZE, SA
I have had a work selected for the finalist exhibition of Country Arts SA’s Whyalla Art Prize. Opens 6pm Friday the 16th of October, Middleback Theatre, Whyalla. Runs until the 13th of November.
More details and a full list of artists can be seen here
TERRITORY, CROSS CULTURAL ART EXCHANGE, NT
Thom Buchanan, Will Nolan, Elizabeth Wojciak and myself will be presenting work in a group exhibition at one of Darwin’s finest commercial galleries, Cross Cultural Art Exchange.
The show opens 6pm, Friday the 6th of November, 2/2 Harriet Place, Darwin.
More information about CCAE
This project is part of an exchange between South Australian and Northern Territory artists. Top Enders Nina Battley, Rob Brown and Bryan Bulley will be presenting work in Adelaide at Gallery 139. The exhibition opens 6pm Thursday the 29th of October, 139 Magill Rd, Stepney.
To view Gallery 139 artists go here
HUCK MAGAZINE, EUROPE
My Pommy mate King Adz has been kind enough to run a rather complementary article on my work in Huck Magazine, a bi-monthly lifestyle magazine. In print, on your local European newsstand, pick it up in Spanish, German or plain old English.
//Australia’s James Dodd is taking outsider graffiti to a higher brow.//
Jimmy and I met by chance when we were both guest speakers at some insane Belgium street art fest, where there were more artists than punters. It was a strange but interesting weekend and it was one of those meetings where it feels like you’ve known the person forever, which is what friendship is all about: eternity. The only downside to the weekend was the inedible vegan shit masquerading as food. Anyhow… me and Jim hit it off and he very kindly let me into his world. The life of an original artist is one of the most interesting places for a writer.
Now 31, Jimmy used to be one of the most prominent stencil artists in Australia until he gave it all up to go back to uni and study for his Masters of Visual Art. This was an astute move as now his work has all the influences of the street but with the heavy-weight conceptual backing of the art establishment.
What Jimmy does is travel the world collecting scrawls and graffiti (not the street art kind, but the underclass style). He shoots them on a digital camera, and then comes up with a concept – like the time he built a facsimile of a Darwin bus shelter (renowned for being painted with very kitsch sunsets) and used exact copies of the collected scrawls to cover its surfaces. Thus underclass outsider art became high art. I fucking love it.
“I’ve always been attracted to graffiti and to people who do things that they’re not supposed to,” says Jim, from his Adelaide home (‘Adelaide has a slower pace than Melbourne which I prefer at the moment because it means I can get more work done.’)
. “There was even a period when I thought that street art could solve all of the world’s problems - fortunately that’s passed…”
Having spent years knee-deep in the Melbourne stencil scene, Jim knows better than most what he likes and, more importantly, what he don’t: “I’ve decided that most New York/train oriented graf is very derivative,” he says. “As a culture, it often doesn’t support innovation and experimentation. But these are the primary things that I find exciting in all creative endeavours. That’s why I find outsider graffiti so exciting, because it doesn’t adhere to a set of rules and is often unpredictable.”
Right now, Jimmy’s…( So, at the moment, He is developing artwork that uses found scrawl as a component, and is mostly interested in making work that is heavily influenced by street creativity and intervention to be shown in galleries, in the context of informed art discussions. James is also spending some time working on community projects, like teaching Year 8 and 9 classes from Mitcham Girls High in Adelaide stencil techniques and producing material to contribute to a large mural on the outside of the school.
– but in between it all, he’s still looking for those outsider kids who love scrawling on the street: “I look at the streets wherever I go, they remain a constant source of inspiration for me. At the moment, non-disciplined graffiti is the type of stuff that turns me on the most. I want to celebrate this in the art that I am making.”
Check out Adz’s latest Huck online column entry here