Sat. Dec 2nd, 2023

A new exhibition opening at NERAM this Friday sees local artist and TAS allum James White taking his love of flowers to a new level in watercolour.

“Ever since I was young lad, gardening with my mum was a constant delight,” said local artist James White. 

And in his new exhibition – Blooming Marvellous – that opens on Friday, May 5, at New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM), Mr White takes his love of flowers and cut blooms to a new level invoking the relationship between flowers and our daily lives.

Rather than merely capturing a staged still life, Mr White connects the flowers depicted with various objects in the foreground to create a broader dialogue around personal interactions with cut blooms.

“My painting content continues to be varied and has covered quite a few subject phases,” said Mr White.

“However, our extensive garden has not only given us hours of enjoyment but also a season-by-season array of blooms as painting material.” 

“I became intrigued with the early Dutch still life paintings with their realistic depiction of flowers, fruit and insects. The dark background in these images accentuated the bounty of flora and in so doing made the artwork jump out of the page.”

“This concept grabbed my attention (now my obsession) so I started producing works which became the nucleus of this exhibition.”

“I just love the colour, form and structures of the flowers but I also try to create a storyline which is fed into the paintings. The titles also provide some insight into my intentions.”

All the works in the Blooming Marvellous exhibition are pure watercolour demonstrating the amazing versatility that this medium offers.

Mr White was raised on the family farm in Boggabri, and attended the local school before moving to The Armidale School (TAS). Here he came under the influence of traditional painter Fred Roberts, who introduced him to the possibilities of art making.

Winning the watercolour prize at the Currabubula Art show in 1964, just as he left school, was a further incentive to continue painting. Mr White spent the next three years travelling overseas sketching and painting. When he came back to Australia, he returned to the family farm at Boggabri. Inspired by local artist Rupert Richardson, watercolours became Mr White’s preferred medium. 

Mr White has had solo exhibitions of watercolours at the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) in Armidale in 1998 and 2004, 2008, 2010 and has also had solo exhibitions at Weswal Gallery in Tamworth, the Moree Gallery, the Narrabri Art Gallery, and Gallery 126 in Armidale.

The Blooming Marvellous exhibition will open on Friday evening May 5 at 6pm.

Mr White will be giving an artist talk from 10.30am to 11.30am on Saturday May 6.

While these events are free, please go to Trybookings https://portal.trybooking.com/au/event/1047749 to book your place.

Top image: Three of James White’s works in the exhibition: L-R ‘Collected from around the shed’ (2023), Mellow Yellow (2023), and Australiana (2023)

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