STATEMENT

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PROFILE

James Willebrant graduated from The National Art School in 1972 being awarded the National Art School Painting prize in 1970 and 1972 respectively.

While at The National Art School Willebrant had already established his unique vision and in 1973 was encouraged by fellow artist and Mentor Charles Blackman to mount his first Exhibition at Philip Bacon Galleries in Brisbane.
This seminal exhibition was enthusiastically received by the public and began a successful career as a professional painter, which has spanned 36 years and over 70 exhibitions throughout Australia and Overseas.
His work features in major Private, Public and Corporate Collections which include The National Galleries of Victoria, NSW and Queensland, Many Regional Galleries, Parliament House Collection, Australia-Japan Trade Commission, Sydney Theatre Company, Qantas,The Australian Embassy-Tokyo, Artbank, Australian Stock Exchange, The Deutsche Bank and several Major University Collections.

In the mid 1970’s James Willebrant became part of the exiting evolution of the art scene in Australia showing his work at The Australian Galleries in Melbourne and with The Kym Bonython Gallery in Sydney. These two galleries in particular were at the forefront of the revolution that supported a new generation of Australian artists and captured the imagination of the Australian public. Willebrant and contemporaries like Brett Whiteley, Tim Storrier, John Coburn, Martin Sharpe and John Firth-Smith continued to redefine, explore and celebrate the Australian Experience as their precursors such as Streeton, Dobell, Tucker, Drysdale and Nolan had done.

James Willebrant’s style has been variously described as Surreal, Naïve, Pop-Art and even Existentialist but no label can adequately encompass or define the subtleties of this artist’s unique work…He paints the Australian landscape and captures its amazing light…He celebrates popular Australian culture…He paints the Human Being in this landscape and as we look at his everyman-everywoman figures caught in a particular moment of Being we are brought back to some deep personal recognition, emotion or memory. Such a response needs no label, no critical thesis. It just is the essence of Good Art.

It provokes, it stimulates, it celebrates and it intimates something about our essence, which is beyond words.

In 1986 James Willebrant moved from Balmain to the Blue Mountains seeking new horizons both literally and figuratively. The physically beautiful and at times spiritually challenging atmosphere of the mountains has seen his work expand both thematically and stylistically over the past 28 years.