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Frank Walter

b. 1926, Antigua and Barbuda
d. 2009

Antiguan painter, 1926-2009

Artist, environmentalist, intellectual, and philosopher, Frank Walter led a pioneering and unique life: he was the first Black man to manage a sugar plantation in Antigua (aged 22) and ran an (unsuccessful) campaign to become Prime Minister there in 1969 on a visionary environmental and social justice platform.

As a direct descendant of both enslaved persons and plantation owners, Walter became obsessed with his own genealogy, believing himself to be related to King Charles II through the White slave owners in his ancestry, self-titling himself the 7th Prince of the West Indies, Lord of Follies and the Ding-a-Ding Nook. He travelled Europe for eight years in the 1950’s, where he fell in love with British landscapes which he repeatedly returned to in his paintings.

Walter’s experiences of living in both 1950’s Great Britain and for later decades in the Antiguan and Dominican countryside led to a series of landscapes exploring environmentalism, Caribbean and Black identity, and the complexity of nature. This immersive exhibition will be the first museum show dedicated to a gardener of Caribbean heritage and will transport visitors to Walter’s “castle on a hill” in Antigua, utilising original set design and a newly commissioned soundscape.

Current

Exhibition

Voyage

Maureen Paley: Morena di Luna
29 Jun-15 Sep 2024

CV

Exhibition
People
Modern Art, Helmet Row
6 Sep-30 Sep 2023
Exhibition
Frank Walter: ARTIST, GARDENER, RADICAL
Garden Museum
4 Oct 2023-25 Feb 2024