Born: Newcastle, Australia
Lives and works: Newcastle, Australia
James Drinkwater is an artist whose work reflects personal fragments about history and our experience of emotion relative to place. Interested in the land of our richly textured world and the found objects attached to an archive of history sensitive to a place, Drinkwater constructs a response working across, poetry, collage, sculpture and painting to draw his own language from love, intimacy and memory.
In the studio, mark-making and assemblage are physical acts in which Drinkwater creates works about life. In the landscape itself, he records distinctive personal motifs by, drawing and writing poetry, influenced by the sensation and the experience of emotion whilst participating with what was once there before him, protecting and creating his own diary and history of our land.
James Drinkwater has held solo exhibitions in Australia, UK, Germany and Singapore, and has been included in major group exhibitions worldwide. In (2019) Newcastle Art Gallery held ‘The Sea calls me by name’ a 10 year retrospect for the artist. In 2014 he was the recipient of the Brett Whiteley Travelling Scholarship and has been a finalist in many of Australia's most prestigious awards including the Wynne Prize (2018, 2017, 2015, 2014), Sulman Prize (2016), Paddington Art Prize (2017, 2016, 2014), John Glover Art Prize (2018, 2017) and The Kilgour Art Prize in (2018). Work is held in private collections in USA, UK, Australia, Singapore, Germany. James Drinkwater has undertaken residencies in Germany, Kenya, Paris and Tahiti. Major selected Public Collections include, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Newcastle Art Gallery, ArtBank and Allens Law Firm.