Thu 13 Jul 2023 to Fri 25 Aug 2023
Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-5pm
Annely Juda Fine Art presents the group show Gather to Loose. The exhibition feature six early-career artists alongside three established gallery artists.
The works in this exhibition share a concern with material - natural or manmade – and its relationship to sustainability. From the melting ice of Hannah Rowan’s The Well (Living Waters Series), 2022 to the 3D modelled, CNC-cut sculpture of Rachel Bungey’s Her Bones, 2023, each artist’s different approach to sculpture explores the intricacies and challenges of our evolving relationship to material within the context of the climate emergency.
The artists displayed here may be using found, reclaimed materials such as the discarded balsa wood of Tadashi Kawamata’s immense ‘Destruction’ (a reference to the devastation of the 2011 Japan Eathquake and Tsunami), or the found Ash Bark or Cork of David Nash’s dome works. Elsewhere the works explore the origins of organic materials such as the sculptures of Abdollah Nafisi, which incorporate Sussex wood felled during the 1987 storm, or Christopher Mayer’s gathered reeds from the reedbeds of Norfolk (a natural flood defence barrier). Often, a sense of place and provenance is emphasised; notably in Finbar Ward’s hand-dug Wiltshire clay sculptures that explore the concept of home as a pillar of identity, or Roger Ackling’s found driftwood sculptures in which sunlight is carefully burnt through a magnifying glass; a record of both time and location. Other works explore our relationship to nature – its problems and potential - through technology and hybrid animal forms (Rachel Bungey) or the “liquid relationship between the human body and geological and ecological systems” (Hannah Rowan).
The title of the exhibition is taken from Hannah Walton’s work, Gather to Loose, a deliberate play on words between ‘lose’ and ‘loose’, in which one tonne of soil is arranged into two circular mounds on the gallery floor and flattened with the artist’s feet. The presence of this very organic material within the context of an austere gallery setting seems metaphor enough for encroaching cityscapes and the degradation (or surprising resilience) of the natural environment. At the end of the exhibition, the soil will be donated to The Grove Community Garden, a self-run community space in Dulwich, South London, for the soil to continue its life cycle. As the artist states, the soil pieces “call attention to how we are shaped by everyday encounters with material, form and space and, in their life cycle as artworks, the transient nature of what we tend to see as fixed.”
As sustainability and provenance of materials becomes increasingly important in every walk of life, this exhibition hopes to highlight the different approaches that a host of fresh voices on the matter brings to the artistic field. The display of younger artists’ work alongside that of those more established continues a thread of such exhibitions in Annely Juda Fine Art’s history, from its very first exhibition Now Open: Important Paintings of the 20th Century and Young Artists in 1968, and marks the beginning of such exhibitions in our summer slot.