James Drinkwater solo exhibition at Newcastle Art Gallery opens 1 June.

26 May 2019

A new exhibition celebrating the work of Newcastle-born artist James Drinkwater, (2014 winner of the Brett Whiteley travelling art scholarship) will be showcased at Newcastle Art Gallery from Saturday 1 June 2019.

Featuring a painting of the same name, the survey exhibition JAMES DRINKWATER: the sea calls me by name, explores the artist’s career to date, with a particular focus on his travels overseas.

Born in Newcastle in 1983, James has spent key pockets of his career painting in far-flung locations such as Berlin, Kenya and Tahiti. He has also spent three months in Paris after winning the 2014 Brett Whiteley travelling art scholarship.

The 2018 Kilgour Prize finalist and four-time Wynne Prize finalist creates works inspired by place, intimacy and memory, using abstraction, colour and mark making.

While Drinkwater has a growing reputation as an abstract painter who immerses himself in his environment, he is a dynamic and multi-faceted artist with a portfolio that traverses assemblage, collage, painting and sculpture.

Above: James DRINKWATER The Sea Calls me by Name

Having previously been exhibited across Australia and overseas in cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, London and Singapore, Drinkwater’s art returns home for this latest major solo exhibition, JAMES DRINKWATER: the sea calls me by name, which was developed by Newcastle Art Gallery in collaboration with the artist.

The Gallery’s exhibition program has a strong focus on local artists, with previous major survey exhibitions including well established artists such as Patricia Wilson Adams, Brett McMahon and Mazie Karen Turner.

Earlier this month, Newcastle Art Gallery also opened a major exhibition of works by Virginia Cuppaidge, an internationally respected Brisbane-born artist who returned to Australia to live in Newcastle after more than 40 years in New York.

“Newcastle has an incredible wealth of great artists,” Gallery Director Lauretta Morton said.

“James Drinkwater is rightly celebrated, for he has experienced significant success in his relatively short career, and with Newcastle being his home and birthplace, we were quick to offer him this opportunity.

“Much like other renowned Newcastle-born artists such as Willam Dobell or John Olsen, James has been an avid artist since he was a young child.

“He has an incredible work ethic, fuelled by a great personal energy and ambition. This exhibition has tried to capture some of James’ exuberance, mastery of colour and prolific output.”

Two significant public programs will herald the beginning of the Drinkwater exhibition, including an artist’s talk on Saturday 1 June at 2pm.

Early access to the exhibition will also be granted during the Gallery’s monthly Last Fridays event, a tactile, sensory and social occassion incorporating art, music, and interaction in a relaxed environment. Drinkwater has guest-programmed the line-up of activities for the Last Fridays event on 31 May, which will include local music, wine tastings and fashion.

JAMES DRINKWATER: the sea calls me by name

1 June - 11 August 2019
Newcastle Art Gallery
Free entry
More information: http://nag.org.au/Exhibitions/Future/JAMES-DRINKWATER-the-sea-calls-me-by-name

Public Programs
Opening weekend artist talk: James Drinkwater
Saturday 1 June, 2pm – 3pm. Free event, no bookings required.
More information: http://nag.org.au/Whats-On/Event-Calendar/Opening-weekend-artist-talk-James-Drinkwater

Last Fridays: James Drinkwater
Friday 31 May, 2019, 5pm – 8pm. Free event, no bookings required.
More information: https://www.nag.org.au/Whats-On/Event-Calendar/Last-Fridays-Friday-31-May