JAMES DRINKWATER: the sea calls me by name

James DRINKWATER Looking for urchins and Louis Ferrari 2018 oil on canvas 240.0 x 180.0cm Artist collection
1 June - 11 August 2019
10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday, 7 days during school holidays

Free exhibition

The sea calls me by name shares its title with one of the paintings in this major solo exhibition and collaboration by Newcastle based artist James Drinkwater with Newcastle Art Gallery. A dynamic and multi-faceted artist Drinkwater has a growing reputation as an abstract painter who immerses himself in the environment of the places he paints exploring the connections between art, cultural and personal histories. Drinkwater is highly awarded for an artist in his early thirties as a four time finalist in the Wynne Prize up until 2018, Sulman Prize finalist in 2016 and three time finalist in the Brett Whiteley Travelling Scholarship before winning it in 2014. Drinkwater has travelled extensively and painted in locations such as Berlin, Kenya, Paris and Tahiti.

In this exhibition Drinkwater returns to his home base in Newcastle and his familial memories as shown in his work of art titled Looking for Urchins and Louis Ferrari 2018. The painting is an intimate response to his own life with his children searching for sea urchins in the rock pools of the Cowrie Hole near Nobby's Beach, Newcastle and is juxtaposed by his mother's memories of his grandfather Captain Louis Ferrari. Captain Ferrari was an Italian doctor who served in Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was dropped and died many years later now thought to be a result of the radiation exposure he received in service. This heartfelt collision of past and present lives are an example of Drinkwater's fearlessness by running towards, rather than away from the telling of powerful and emotionally moving stories through his arts practice.

Related documents:
James Drinkwater: the sea calls me by name - Catalogue

Credit: Brianna Roberts for Nanda\Hobbs

Banner image: James DRINKWATER The Sea Calls me by Name 2018 240.0 x 180.0cm Artist collection

James DRINKWATER Looking for urchins and Louis Ferrari 2018 oil on canvas 240.0 x 180.0cm Artist collection


  • Exhibition entry FREE



Newcastle Art Gallery
1 Laman Street
Cooks Hill