Newitt was born in Hobart, Tasmania in 1981, and graduated with a PhD in fine arts from the University of Tasmania, School of Art in 2007. Originally working as a graphic designer, Newitt expanded his practice to involve media such as video projection, sound and text installation as well as public projects. He uses methods of social engagement and documentary observation to poetically explore the spaces between individual and collective identity, memory and history, fact and fiction as well as public and private space. He works on projects which often involve extended periods of research into specific social, cultural and environmental situations and the development of ongoing relationships with individuals and communities.
Newitt’s exhibition history includes: To Catch a Tiger, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (2011); If They Fall, Rosalux: Berlin based art office, Berlin (2010); The Gallery of Fine Arts, Split, Croatia (2010); Primavera, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2010); In The Balance: Art for a Changing World, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2010); What I Think About When I Think About Dancing, Campbelltown Art Centre, Sydney (2009); Stories of Celebration and Dissent, Rosalux: Berlin based art office, Berlin (2009); The Moorilla Scholarship exhibition, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart (2009); Handle With Care, 2008 Biennial of Australian Art; Monash University Faculty Gallery, Melbourne (2008); Ten Days on the Island, Hobart (2007); Sherman Galleries, Sydney (2007); and the Next Wave Festival, Melbourne (2006).
Newitt has received state and national funding grants for individual and collaborative projects. In 2012 he will undertake a three-month Australia Council for the Arts studio residency in Liverpool, UK, before embarking on a one year Samstag Scholarship. In 2008 he undertook a 3-month studio residency at the Los Angeles studio of the Australia Council for the Arts and in 2010 he won the City of Hobart Art Prize. In 2009 he was awarded the Qantas Foundation’s Encouragement of Contemporary Art Award. Newitt is Head of Visual Communication at the Tasmanian School of Art and a founding member and director of INFLIGHT art, Hobart.
James Newitt, 2010