“Who are Rochdale and Southsea?” I hear you ask. Well, they’re two characters from the Britain Boys series – I thought adding ‘Britain Boys‘ into the title of this exhibition (as I have done with the previous three) would make it too long. But who exactly are they as opposed to just their names? I’ll explain…
Rochdale is a young boy (about six years old) who loves water. Although he looks like a villain (partly because of his almost permanent angry look), he is actually good-natured. With his easily-recognizable pair of yellow wellington boots and light-blue raincoat, he’s often seen happily splashing about in bodies of water, like swimming pools, puddles or the sea. His most favourite out of all those places, however, is the swimming pool, which he often visits with his father Southsea. He likes spraying people with his water pistol, and he stays hydrated by drinking from public fountains in open spaces, like the park.
Southsea is, as mentioned before, Rochdale’s father. Frequently visiting the pool with his young son, he possesses the talent of performing tricks in the water, like pelting people with water balloons (his favourite), backflipping while diving, or creating coloured jets of water (also his favourite). Sometimes he likes to bomb-dive, which makes everybody in the immediate vicinity (including the lifeguard and unsuspecting onlookers) drenched to the skin. He also likes to ride the water flume and surfboards.
On this drawing, Rochdale and Southsea do what they do best. Rochdale splashes about in a puddle of fresh rainwater, while Southsea tosses a filled water balloon at the ‘camera’ (or rather artist, which in this case would be me), splashing the ‘lens’. Because of their shared love for the wet blue stuff, they’ve been given the moniker of the “Water Boys”, also lending its name to this drawing.
They’re also part of a gang called the “Swimming Pool People”, a group of people who, well… love to hang around the swimming pool. The other members of the gang will be revealed in next week’s exhibition.