“The whole universe is contained in a single flower” – Toshiro Kawase, Ikebana Master
For Nic Plowman, beauty and creativity have always lived happily next door to pain and vulnerability. Via neighbourly conversations through the fence between these two forces, Plowman finds solace – a melancholic happiness and honest vulnerability that embraces humanity in all its forms.
Where Plowman’s previous body of work spoke of an avalanche of life experiences, Garden narrates the complex process of growth in the aftermath. This body of work articulates a flourishing of the artist’s personal resilience, a resilience born from a recognition and acceptance of languish and weariness. For Plowman, this recognition tied his own personal experiences to the universal, placing himself in the ebb and flow of wider circumstances. In doing so, he found a connection, and from this connection a resilience – a dynamic harmony that vibrates with both pain and joy.
For the artist, the garden is an ideal metaphor for this harmonic vibration. In his own works, Plowman reflects “In my use of botanical imagery, I attempt to create a garden in which to find solace – a garden that grows in adjacent to the shitty and beautiful things life has to offer.” Finding solace is often hard to do. Life does not wait until one trial has been resolved before offering another and things quickly become layered. This is demonstrated in the execution of Plowman’s work and his use of flowers as a motif for life. Deceptively simple, flowers always offer much more than their initial beauty, whether it’s the circumstances and material in which they grow, or the intricate details revealed upon closer inspection. Finely rendered draftsmanship overlaid with freely drawn lines in unconventional drawing materials, Plowman’s work expertly captures this sentiment.