Postage Paid Berlin

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, News ~ by Press on  8 Mar 2010

Cooks Hill galleries presents a  ‘European to Australia experience’ opening Friday March 19.

The exhibition continues until April 12 and both artists paintings are online from March 16 at

imageJames Drinkwater – Exhibition of oil paintings and mixed media drawings titled ‘Postage paid Berlin’

James and his wife Lottie now reside in Berlin, where this exhibition was prepared before sending to Australia for this being James first ‘overseas made’ exhibition.

James calls this exhibition –details, memories and maps and dedicates the show to Warren Drinkwater. Quotes from James artist statement are worth reflecting upon: ‘I am an observer of the details of life and I paint maps from my experience. Memories of growing up by the sea, the shades and shapes that existed there; the hues used by the impressionists and the way colours sit next to or on top of one another.

The details of my life here and now in Berlin continue to inspire me. I’m sure they think I’m from another time with my top hat and stick. Sometimes I dance for them to confirm their fascination.
Berlin is the street art and graffiti capital of the world and the marks that these individuals or crews make, sometimes beautiful, sometimes crude, create the most incredible foundations for my work. I am completely overwhelmed by the lines, layers and patterns.

This series of painting, reflects back to the the way the paint was applied from the ‘Ocean series’ from 2004, shown at this gallery. As usual James life is a fascination for those who view the chapters. Berlin is both inspirational and a haven for this young artist. He went overseas to reside in the countryside of Umbria, Italy; but of course it was too quite for James. Perhaps in another 20 years he says, he craves the energy of this artistic city Berlin.

imagePenelope Staple – A British artist who has moved to Newcastle, now lives in the area for a portion of the year, this is the reverse geographic move from her co exhibitor! Both having the common thought of experiencing another life and country, resulting in finding a second home!

She established a ‘plein air’ camp near Cassilis out from Lithgow, NSW. The environment she best describes as ‘surviving the singing heat’ with a few animals thrown in. (See attached image.)This exhibition titled ‘into the singing heat- retreat to the ocean’ is one of contrasts.

Thus the adventure began … surviving the heat and dramatic thunderstorms of the bush, trying to use the paint before it dried on the palette, having to work from sun up to sun down as opposed to working late into the night which is my normal practice, the exciting encounters with the wildlife, the 5ft Goanna which wondered through the camp, the fox on its daily afternoon territorial walk, the wombat who lived the other side of the creek became my regular companion, the friendly Rosella who would visit and enjoy my museli and my constant battle not to be bitten more than a few times a day by the ants, this became my way of life and I enjoyed every moment of it.

This body of artwork was of a more figurative nature initially, however it developed into a semi abstract landscape and seascape.
Penelope will be present for the opening & interviews by contacting me on the gallery number or my mobile 0418 492259.

Regards, Mark Widdup

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