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James Drinkwater

Down the Awabakal trail
oil on hardboard
160 x 122 cm
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In trying to define a feeling
of a painter in a scene
on a headland, by the sea
is an attempt to trawl from memory
and sing and kiss
then dance and cry

I was in some lyrical mess
when the light fell hard through the cracks of tight bush
doused in the groggy weight of history
I lament
the painter hits every rock
and every fable
Down the Awabakal trail

This painting was made in my studio in Newcastle, which is perched on a headland hard on the coast. To my left is developed suburbia, surf culture and a view of the city. To my right is national park and a desolate unpatrolled beach in which the Awabakal people are the traditional land owners. The juxtaposition is quite profound. This work is about that conversation.

- James Drinkwater, 2014