Friday, 22nd. August saw the 'official' unveiling of a blue plaque commemorating James Dickson Innes whose brief life ended one hundred years ago. Vaughan Williams, Plaid Cymru parliamentary candidate for Llanelli, unveiled the plaque in the presence of Mayor Roger Price and more than forty members of LCH and the Llanelli Arts Society who sponsored it.
"James Dickinson Innes who died this day, a hundred years ago of tuberculosis was only 28 years of age. His legacy to Wales, Llanelli and the world was a body of work that continues to this day to fascinate us, and at its most accomplished, to mesmerize us.
Through his time at Carmarthen Art School, then the Slade School of Art in London, via visits to Paris, Collioure in the Southwest of France, and his friendships with people like Augustus John, he produced work that reflected the experiments and innovations in form and colour that characterised the art world at the end of the nineteenth and start of the twentieth centuries.
At its best, his work reinterpreted the landscape of Wales, whether he was painting the lofty, rugged crags of Snowdonia or the sinuous, sensual whale-backed hills of Carmarthenshire or the Beacons.
He was a young artist, developing his skills, and experimenting. Not all his work is perfect. There are obvious flaws in his figure drawing, and there are some compositional weaknesses in his works. But as a colourist he is in a league of his own.
Innes's paintings can zing with colour – expressing a vibrancy, an intoxication with the landscape, light and life. At other times, his palette creates a deeper, achingly reflective mood akin to the twilight meditations of Caspar David Friedrich, the German romantic painter (1774-1840), or Turner's experiments with painting light.
James Dickinson Innes gave us in Wales a new way of visualizing our country and its landscape. Despite his premature death, he was able to develop a distinctive style that used intense colour combinations, vigorous brushwork and energetic lines to capture not just the geography of an area but to convey his own emotional response to what he saw around him."