2011-Blood Is Thicker Than Water

“The quaint Sunday painters medium of choice, watercolor, has been brilliantly perverted by Plowman in these macho and brutal portraits. It is the stark juxtaposition of subject and medium that makes these images so arresting.”
Jason Pierson

Read more

Blood Is Thicker Than WaterNic Plowman (2011)
Essay by Joel Edmondson, lifelong friend.

Nic Plowman’s latest foray into fraternal portraiture is at once starkly brutal and anaesthetising, its broken heads floating in open space like prison patients in the void. Blood Is Thicker Than Water (2011) documents injuries suffered by brothers Nic and Kurt during a drunken stoush with anonymous revellers, but their combatants are notably absent from the plates. In fact, all other contextual information has been erased from the visual field. For Plowman, there is nothing but brothers. The blank expression of these brothers betrays a defiant calm, and the transient physical consequences of allegiance are worn with contempt for any judgments that may befall them. If there are any invisible captors in this void, then we take their place, and quickly learn that the price of our judgment is a failed interrogation of their secret world.

Besides, one thousand years in this void would do little but further cement these blood bonds. Violence and the threat of death are merely accepted, much like the Zen master accepts the brutality of nothingness with smiling indifference. Mortality is a central theme of Nic’s work, derived partly from his lifelong waltz with a genetic heart defect and, more recently, months of hospitalisation and convalescence after falling out of a tree house. Although his previous studies are mobilised by a visceral sense of animation and potentiality, Blood Is Thicker Than Water is static, like the emanation of something primal. It is the eternal return to a promise born of larrikinism and excess.

Nic’s recent experimentation with watercolours is a clear attempt to problematise stereotypical conceptions of masculine aggression. To quote the most parochial of Australian songwriters, John Williamson, the consequences of “standing by your mate, when he’s in a fight” is not only broken bones, but also the soft-focus memories of brotherly resilience. Nic has been called to a medium capable of embracing this paradox, a new conceptual ground from which to demonstrate his significant technical prowess as a figurative painter of the highest order.

  • Busted Custard 2010
  • Aftermath Self Portrait 2010
  • Aftermath 2 2010
  • Brothers (Los Angeles) 2010
  • Brothers (Caxton Street) 2010
  • Aftermath (Double Self Portrait) 2010
  • Aftermath 5 2010
  • Aftermath 6 2010
  • Aftermath 3 2010
  • Aftermath 4 2010
  • Aftermath 1 2010
  • Aftermath 8 (Evan) 2010
  • Aftermath 7 (Evan)  2010
  • Aftermath 10 2010
  • Instinct 2011
  • 26th January- Heavy Hitter (Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it again) 2010
  • BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER
  • Brotherly love 2010
  • Busted Custard 2010

    Busted Custard 2010

    watercolour on paper
    56 × 48 cm
    Collection of the artist

  • Aftermath Self Portrait 2010

    Aftermath Self Portrait 2010

    watercolour on paper
    138 × 95 cm
    Private collection

  • Aftermath 2 2010

    Aftermath 2 2010

    watercolour on paper
    76 × 56 cm
    Collection of the artist

  • Brothers (Los Angeles) 2010

    Brothers (Los Angeles) 2010

    watercolour on paper
    108 × 131 cm
    Finalist 2012 Doug Moran Portrait Prize/ Collection of the artist

  • Brothers (Caxton Street) 2010

    Brothers (Caxton Street) 2010

    watercolour on paper
    106 × 130 cm
    Finalist 2011 Gold Coast Art Prize/ Collection of the artist

  • Aftermath (Double Self Portrait) 2010

    Aftermath (Double Self Portrait) 2010

    watercolour on paper
    56 × 76 cm
    Collection of the artist

  • Aftermath 5 2010

    Aftermath 5 2010

    watercolour on paper
    25 × 18 cm
    Collection of the artist

  • Aftermath 6 2010

    Aftermath 6 2010

    watercolour on paper
    25 × 18 cm
    Collection of the artist

  • Aftermath 3 2010

    Aftermath 3 2010

    watercolour on paper
    25 × 18 cm
    Collection of the artist

  • Aftermath 4 2010

    Aftermath 4 2010

    watercolour on paper
    25 × 18 cm
    Collection of the artist

  • Aftermath 1 2010

    Aftermath 1 2010

    watercolour on paper
    76 × 56 cm
    The Art Vault Collection

  • Aftermath 8 (Evan) 2010

    Aftermath 8 (Evan) 2010

    watercolour on paper
    60 × 42 cm
    Finalist 2011 Agendo Art Prize/ Collection of the artist

  • Aftermath 7 (Evan)  2010

    Aftermath 7 (Evan) 2010

    watercolour on paper
    76 × 56 cm
    Collection of the artist

  • Aftermath 10 2010

    Aftermath 10 2010

    watercolour on paper
    26 × 20 cm
    Collection of the artist

  • Instinct 2011

    Instinct 2011

    watercolour on paper
    88 × 160 cm
    Private collection

  • 26th January- Heavy Hitter (Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it again) 2010

    26th January- Heavy Hitter (Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it again) 2010

    watercolour on paper
    42 × 42 cm
    Private collection

  • BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER

    BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER

    The Art Vault, Mildura. 23rd Feb – 14th March 2011

  • Brotherly love 2010

    Brotherly love 2010

    graphite, ink, acrylic, watercolour and oil stick on poly-cotton
    150 × 120 cm
    Collection of the artist