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James Drinkwater: P A S S A G E

9 June - 22 July 2023

James Drinkwater is a poet, singer, song-writer, musician, epicure, traveller, set and costume designer, draughtsman, printmaker, ceramicist, sculptor and a consummate painter. He grew up in Newcastle and studied at the National Art School in Sydney.
This four-time Wynne Prize finalist, winner of the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship and the Brett Whiteley Travelling Scholarship has been dubbed as ‘one of the most exciting contemporary artists creating work in Australia today.’
Travelling has always been an important aspect of his life and work. He has lived and made art in Melbourne, rural Italy, France, the UK, Germany, Kenya, French Polynesia, Indonesia and the US.

Curated by Ken McGregor, ‘Passage’ marks the first time Drinkwater’s work is being exhibited in the Northern Territory. The show includes pictures from his time in Paris and Tahiti as well as works on paper from a 2015 painting trip to the Central Desert. Some of these works have never been exhibited anywhere.

In 2023, NCCA invited Drinkwater to visit the Top End. The residency continued the decades-long tradition of hospitality the Centre has offered visiting artists to establish a temporary camp in the surrounding area. The exhibition and the large eponymous triptych-installation is the result of this recent trip.


James Drinkwater


Ken McGregor

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