in The Arms of Moreton Figs

Ancient swells hit the bells and the buoys
Over that black and endless sea
So I think of all the paintings
Every axe and every flame
The Pioneer and You Yangs

But if we sleep now we may never leave
Leaning wind and tidal kiss
Fenced by an ocean
In the liberal minds of sharks and dogs

And if this whole thing becomes a dream
Then place me in tombs of slumber
In the halls of my youth
In the arms of moreton figs

James Drinkwater – December 2014

James Drinkwater is a Newcastle-based artist whose practice broadly involves painting, sculpture, assemblage and collage. His painting practice is largely dedicated to translating his internalised self, through a distinctive language of mark making into an abstracted yet often familiar picture plane. Consistent themes in the work include the artist’s experiences of place, intimacy and memory, and together these document the artist’s life as a continuing body of work. In The Arms of Moreton Figs presents a recently completed series of vibrantly coloured oil paintings, with a temperate, coastal yet refreshingly cool palette and generously textured surfaces.

Drinkwater grew up in Newcastle and studied at the National Art School in Sydney before relocating to Melbourne to pursue a musical career on the side of his art practice. He later moved to Germany where he resided in Berlin for several years and undertake a residency at the LIA in Leipzig. In 2011 James Drinkwater received the Marten Bequest travelling Scholarship and was a finalist in the Dobell Drawing Prize (Art Gallery of NSW). He was a finalist for the Wynne prize in 2014 and was a finalist for the Brett Whiteley Travelling Scholarship for three consecutive years prior to being awarded the prize in 2014.

Drinkwater’s work is held in major public and private collections in Australia and internationally including Artbank, Macquarie Group, Allens Law Firm, the Newcastle Art Gallery and private collections in New York, Singapore, Germany and the UK. He has previously shown with Damien Minton Gallery in Sydney and is represented by NKN Gallery, Melbourne.