South Bank London

Frank Walter: Artist, Gardener, Radical

This stunning exhibition celebrates the work of the Antiguan artist, writer and environmentalist.

Opening Hours

Open daily 10am–5pm.

The museum is closed for the festive season from 21 December through 8 January.

Dates

04 Oct - 25 Feb 2024

Ticket Information

Tickets £14, discounts for students, pensioners, children

Location Info

Address
Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London, UK

A spectacular exhibition of the landscape and nature paintings of Antiguan artist, writer and environmentalist Frank Walter (1926–2009).

One of the most significant Caribbean visual artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, Frank Walter was a prolific artist whose work explored environmentalism, Caribbean and Black identity, social justice and the complexity of nature.

Walter had an extraordinary career that saw him channel his irrepressible intellectual curiosity into a variety of mediums and subject matters, including painting, drawing, photography, and sculpture; exploring landscapes and memory, flora and fauna, Antiguan society, scientific concepts, and more. Curated by Professor Barbara Paca Ph.D O.B.E, the exhibition features more than 100 never-before-seen paintings and sculptures.

Aside from his artistic output, Frank Walter led a pioneering and unique life as an environmentalist, intellectual, and philosopher. As a direct descendant of both enslaved persons and plantation owners, he tried to find peace in returning to agriculture as a way of feeding his countrymen who had experienced economic hardship. He became the first Black man to manage a sugar plantation in Antigua, and later ran an (unsuccessful) campaign to become Prime Minister in 1969 on a visionary environmental campaign.

The immersive set design of the exhibition was commissioned by the Garden Museum from the award-winning Jeremy Herbert. The design transports visitors to the warm climate of Walter’s ‘castle on a hill’ studio in coastal Antigua where he spent his later years.

In 1993 Walter established the studio that boasted staggering views of the surrounding countryside and ocean. Finding solace in the wild hills of his ancestral lands, here the artist mostly secluded himself, spending the remainder of his days gardening, writing, and painting.

Friday Late

WHEN: The Friday Late event runs from 6:30pm-8:30pm on Friday 23 February. 
TICKETS: £10, students £5. Buy tickets online here.

On Friday 23 February the Garden Museum hosts its latest Friday Late event in conjunction with the Frank Walter exhibition with an evening co-curated by Goldsmiths, University of London. The evening includes four new interactive responses to the exhibition created by academics and artists from Goldsmiths.

Crocus bags, saka cloth and flour bags: Remaking with discarded textiles  Join in a making activity drawing on the untold crafting traditions of Caribbean women led by textiles researcher Rose Sinclair MBE.

Slipstreaming with Frank Walter: Join staff and students from Goldsmiths’ pioneering Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies for a collaborative, radical writing workshop and installation rooted in the slipstream writing method.

Frank’s Forest: Climate Couriers: Artist and Lecturer Louise Ashcroft leads a participatory workshop inspired by Frank Walter’s works on card and boxes. Participants will be invited to make and decorate a bespoke cardboard box out of old Amazon boxes into which they will place a fallen autumn leaf collected by Louise from one of 40 London streets with names that have historical links to slavery. Participants will be encouraged to return the leaf to its street of origin on the summer solstice.

IRIE! Dance Theatre: The Friday Late event also features a performance of dance and music by students of IRIE! dance theatre, Britain’s leading dance theatre company working in the field of African & Caribbean dance fusion.

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