‘Art is man added to nature’ - Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)
With this statement, Bacon illuminated the fundamental link between human-made artifacts and that which is naturally formed. Rather than positing the former as a vain imitation of the latter, Bacon contended that the human ability to produce art bound us to nature rather than separated us from it. Art was not adjunct, it was essential – a force of hope that gave humans the ability to influence and improve the conditions of their existence.
These three artists are attached to this idea by their distinctive understanding of the natural world as a rich and extensive source of influence on the human imagination. From Sam Gold’s cathartic process of coiling clay to build sculptures which reflect upon our innate desire to mark-make, to the natural motifs used throughout Anna Gore’s installation pieces that take on a wealth of meaning when they converge with references to both external and internal worlds, or Emmaline Zanelli’s still life photographs which physically obfuscate the organic to communicate a tension between the artificial and the natural. By identifying both the distinctions and connections between man-made and natural forms, these artists render all forms essential and engage in a conversation as relevant now as when Francis Bacon wrote these words over four-hundred years ago. - Harriet McKay, 2019