Plant Matters

by Professor Nicholas Thomas, Director, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge
Botany might be considered as a specific discipline, the province of scientists and students, but it has long been much more: an undisciplined realm in which inquiry, illustration, imagination and metaphor energise each other. Botanical knowledge is part of humanity’s history: Indigenous foragers, [...]

Ex Situ In Situ

Nina Miall, Curator

In Ex Situ, artist Caroline Rothwell assembles an imaginary botanical archive. Drawing on the materials and instruments of 19th-century botany, mediated by the technological revolution of the 20th century, the new sculptural works in this exhibition offer a visual register of humanity’s impact on the natural world today.
The body of work presented [...]


Victoria Scott, 2019
We begin this story as voyeurs to Caroline Rothwell’s botanical theatre – an enticing array of sumptuous sculptures, works on paper and animation – the beautiful and the bizarre. With eyes wide open we traverse time, land and sea.
Caroline Rothwell’s latest exhibition, Splice, at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, takes the moment of first contact [...]

Weather Maker, 2014

by Adam Jasper
Caroline Rothwell’s work is deceptive. At a distance, the images and their materials seem familiar motifs of industrial modernism: smoke stacks, cannons, and airships. The materials, as well, are at first sight reassuringly frank: bronze, rubber, paper, ink. We are in what appears to be a 19th century archival project, a half affectionate [...]

Climatic at Dark Heart, Adelaide Biennial

by Lisa Slade
The daughter of an industrial chemist, Caroline Rothwell is no stranger to the idea that human agency can alter our environment. Her body of work, comprised of paintings and sculptures made for the Adelaide Biennial, pivots around current ideas regarding geoengineering – the science of manipulating the earth’s climate in order to cease [...]

Plants and people, Museum of Economic Botany

by Tony Kanellos
Überplants and super plants – civilizations have depended upon them for millennia. Be it wheat or rice or opium and the like, important plants have been the basis of civilisation since the Neolithic revolution.
The need for food, fibre, medicine, dyes, arts, craft tools, weapons, shelter and fuel has been a driving force in [...]

Urpflanze street Plants, Museum of Economic Botany

by Lisa Slade
I’ve been collecting and documenting ‘volunteer’ plants, as my mother calls them (most people would use the term weeds) from along streets and walkways since 2011. I select an area that is approximately 5 metres square and pull up the plants, roots and all, from that vicinity. I then record the location [...]

Caroline Rothwell’s Borderlands

by Anne Loxley
online catalogue, published by Tolarno Galleries
With Borderlands Caroline Rothwell presents her latest fictional world, a bizarre, beguiling meditation on torment, borders, invasion and the environmental consequences of human endeavor.
There is a series of machine embroideries on canvas titled Urpflanze. This title is borrowed from the German writer Goethe (1749-1832) who conceived of the [...]

Architecture of Shadows: the sculptures of Caroline Rothwell

by Christine Morrow

Caroline Rothwell, Blowback, Artspace, Sydney

Sculptures by Caroline Rothwell mostly take the form of filled volumes created by distending fabric and vinyl forms with air or molten metal. These volumes derive from borrowed images of plants, landscapes and other representations of the natural world. The artist starts with an outline [...]

The Weeds of Arcadia

by Nicholas Alfrey
All the pieces exhibited here were made during Caroline Rothwell’s three-month residency at the Lakeside Arts Centre at the University of Nottingham. Rothwell is known for her work as a sculptor, but recently her practice has been focused more on site-based drawing, working directly on the wall with signwriters’ vinyl. Her motifs have [...]