Peter Andrew Jones  SolarWind The Fabulous Riverboat

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(From the book "Solar Wind Vol.1")
By : Deborah Susan Jones : Editor
A  collection of science fiction short stories by British writer J. G. Ballard, Vermilion Sands was first published in 1971 and the Artist was asked in 1974 (publsihed in 1975) to create new cover art for this collection of stories set in the imaginary vacation resort called Vermilion Sands.
The characters in the book are created around stereotypical upscale and idle rich types that could be found in a kind of exclusive holiday retreat.
When given the book to illustrate, by then Art Director Steve Abis at Panther Books in London's Soho, the Artist noted Ballard's intro in the book, which said "Vermilion Sands has more than its full share of dreams and illusions, fears and fantasies, but the frame for them is less confining. I like to think, too, that it celebrates the neglected virtues of the glossy, lurid and bizarre."
And, given that a Times Literary Supplement review stated that Ballard was "one of the most accomplished creators of evocative landscapes in modern fiction and achieves this effect partly by painting his desert in the manner of Dali, a mixture of appalling clarity and the exotic", certainly, the Artist, who'd spent many, many Sundays as a young man, indeed, even as a very young child, observing and researching the works of Dali at London's Tate Gallery in the 1950 and 60s, saw this connection (albeit unconsciously)  in the writings of Ballard and was able to infuse the book cover art with a blend of Dali-esk and pulp magazine art content along with  contemporary SF styled imagery to create this image, even though, in the heady days of his early career, he was not even aware, objectively, that he was doing so, it being entirely instinctive rather than in any way analytical.
In any event, all the above as it may be (recalled by the Artist) as was ever and indeed is stll the case, the Artist was just captivated by the ideas streaming from Ballard's writing and excited in creative response to just "get on with it" and do what seemed exciting and interesting and not even thinking (objectively or analytically) as to anything other that just "having a creative fun time" and "producing an exciting image" in response to the text.
Analysis "is for others" - "fun is for the Artist" (on the day").
"Heady days . . . . . . . . . . . "

Deborah Susan Jones 

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