The Day Cary Came to Norwich

Nina Mae Fowler

14th March – 8th April 2017

Nina Mae Fowler’s work explores the darker side of fame. Deep psychological conflict, the turbulent mix of early black and white Hollywood glamour and its attendant dark-side are the focus of her drawings.

“I present together, in my drawings and sculptures, the inherent contradictions of life inside and out of the goldfish-bowl that formed the original basis for much of contemporary society’s ideas surrounding fame; power; desire and success, alongside their contingent aspects of personal and career destruction.“ Nina Fowler, 2014

Born in London in 1981 Nina graduated with a First in Sculpture from Brighton University in 2003. In 2008, she was nominated for the BP Portrait Prize with her painting of the Royal Ballet dancer, Carlos Acosta. In 2010 and 2015 her work was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize. Other shortlist nominations include The Young Masters Prize and The Aesthetica Art Prize, as well as being commissioned by Oxford University to depict Professor Richard Dawkins and writer Hermione Lee.

For the exhibition at the Fairhurst Gallery Nina had the idea to create an entire show based upon a fictional event. Much like the way we are mislead by gossip magazines who follow celebrities , so eager to find scandal they will take a picture or an unsubstantiated story and misrepresent the truth to stir-up interest amongst their readers. Cary Grant did in fact visit Norwich when he was 14 years old, on his way to join the ’Nippy Nines’, an acrobatic group performing at the Hippodrome. So, although the exhibition has a hint of truth the viewer will be taken on a tour of intricate drawings, apparently depicting Cary Grant enjoying the sights and sounds of Norwich, their imagination, can make up the rest.