James Dodd the colonial bus stop

James Dodd's most recent commission, Bus Stop (Eugene was ere), was installed on Adelaide’s North Terrace in June as part of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s S.A. Illustrated: From the Street. Following on from works like Morialta Falls, Boab Inscriptions and Top End Scrawls, Dodd takes raw samples of public graffiti then overlays them on fluorescently rendered landscapes that directly reference Australian colonial painting styles. These composite works become vivid exposés of the kinds of mark making that are deemed either culturally worthy or antisocial scribble. By placing found graffiti over his own paintings, Dodd reveals the way we look at visual and textual information through what he calls "hijacking or colliding" cross sections of Australian experience. The simplest interpretation would be to say that Dodd vandalises his own work before anyone else can, but that would be missing the point. Dodd’s practice reveals the gulf that lies between the authorised personal expression of art in the modern gallery, and the unsanctioned personal expression on streets and public buildings like prisons.

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