Wood to Water by James Dodds

27 Jul 2020 to 1 Feb 2021
National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum
Discovery Quay
TR11 3QY
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall welcomes back acclaimed artist James Dodds to exhibit his work in his latest exhibition Wood to Water.


Inspired by small boats from the South West, James Dodds masterfully represents this subject in both paintings and limited edition linocut prints.

New work includes one of the largest paintings he has ever undertaken. It depicts a Falmouth pilot cutter and at over seven meters wide it is a striking abstract artwork of deep blue tones.

Initially becoming a shipwright’s apprentice James later studied painting at Chelsea College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. His early career in boatbuilding left a lasting impression on him and can still be seen influencing his work today. Dodds said, ‘With that first boat, it felt as if I was building it on the canvas. The two sides of me, the builder and the artist, one focused on art and colour, the other on practicalities’.

The way naval architect plans are scaled up is reflected in his work. Creating a white grid to provide an accurate guide, he begins to paint the plywood board or carve into lino. These grids can be seen in the finished pieces giving the viewer an insight into the methods and influences behind the work and giving them a striking and unique appearance.

Wood and Water runs from Thursday 3 October 2019 to Tuesday 1 September 2020. Entry to the exhibition is included in the price of admission to the Museum. Paintings can be bought through the Museum and the price list is available online.

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