Nigel Henderson

Plant Tantrums


Oil and photograph on board
Support: 402 x 510 mm
Framed: 407 x 516 x 30 mm
Purchased 1974

Catalogue entry


Not inscribed
Oil colour on photographic enlargement mounted on card, 15 1/4×20 (39.7×50.8) (irregular)
Purchased from the artist (Gytha Trust) 1974

At one time Henderson collected fragments of objects for sources of imagery in his work. These included pieces of tin containers, wireless components including electric circuits terminals, pieces of wire and parts of clockwork motors.

For the production of T01916 such parts, together with a pot of dried paint and a burnt comb, were lowered into a tray of fine ash collected from the ‘Aga’ cooker in the artist's house. Areas of ash were brushed back from the covered objects to produce the shapes he required. The tray of objects and ash were photographed. The negative was bound together with a positive transparency of the photograph so that the two were slightly out of register, and an enlargement made and coloured with oil colour. Both a 15×20 in. and a 4×5 ft. enlargement were made.

The large version of T01916 was included in Henderson's exhibition at the I.C.A. in 1961. Other works had references to biological forms including ‘Botany Bay’ and ‘Crustasia’; the latter included imagery relating to a pair of ragged claws and a land mass.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1974-6: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1978