Plantation by Tim FowlerGo to Nottingham City Museums
Plantation by Tim Fowler
As part of a new series of artistic interventions and commissions, Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery has invited Leicester-based artist Tim Fowler (b. 1985), to showcase large-scale vibrant paintings from his ‘Plantation’ series in the Long Art Gallery and Ducal Palace Café.
Initially sparked by tending to a banana plant during the Covid-19 pandemic, Fowler developed a profound interest in horticulture. This personal connection deepened as he discovered the ties to the symbolism and origins of this plant species, rooted in his Bajan (Barbadian) heritage from his mother’s side.
Enthralled by the captivating history of Barbados, amplified by his undertaking of a DNA ancestry test, Fowler became fascinated with the country’s origins and the tumultuous era of European colonisation and the harrowing slave trade. Further research revealed the specific agricultural significance of tobacco, cotton, ginger, sugar cane, and indigo in Bajan culture. This discovery spurred his exploration of other plants with Caribbean and West African origins, interwoven with colonial exports and global trade.
Fowler’s paintings depict his banana plants as resplendent semi-abstract forms on a large and oversized scale. His artistic experimentation with paint involves various techniques, including using a fire extinguisher, compressed air-powered nozzles, and self-constructed elongated brushes, mops, brooms, and squeegees. This results in a gestural, physical, and often street-art-inspired execution in bright bubblegum, neon pinks and pale blues; colours now rooted and consistent in Fowler’s paintings for decades.