My Secession Party
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James Newitt, B. 1981, Hobart, Tasmania. Lives and works in Hobart, Tasmania.
James Newitt’s work poetically explores the liminal spaces between individual and collective identity, memory and history. Boldly prefacing the tension between fact and fiction in both public and private space, the artist’s video and text-based practice is known for teasing out the complex nuances in disparate, sometimes isolated, communities. In his video work Saturday Nights (2007) Newitt makes visible the personal histories and relationships that exist within rural Tasmania, highlighting the paradoxical conditions of remoteness and connectivity that underpin regional communities. He also works collaboratively, as in the project write-here(2007) developed with Justy Phillips, which sought to create a critical exploration of public and personal relationships through the use of text installations as an interventionist strategy in assorted public locations . If They Fall, Newitts second solo show held in 2010 at Rosalux, Berlin, was a continuation of his research into the forest industry. His video work of the same name explores the complexites and contradicting ideologies of the communites affected by the industry in Tasmania.
In 2008 Newitt was the Australia Council for the Arts, Los Angeles studio resident. The following year he was awarded the Qantas Foundation, Encouragement of Contemporary Art Award and in 2010 the City of Hobart Art Prize. Next year Newitt will undertake a residency in Liverpool, U.K.
Newitt’s exhibition history includes: The Gallery of Fine Arts, Split, Croatia (2010); Primavera (2010), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, What I Think About When I Think About Dancing (2009), Campbelltown Art Centre, Sydney; Stories of Celebration and Dissent (2009); If They Fall (2010), Rosalux: Berlin based art office, Berlin; Handle With Care (2008) , Biennial of Australian Art; Ten Days on the Island (2007),Hobart; Sherman Galleries, Sydney (2007); and INFLIGHT art, Hobart (2005).